We’ve talked before about jumping on popular or trending hashtags to reach potential guests and communicate with those who are already familiar with your venue. The reason is simple: getting your brand in front of engaged social media users increases the odds that you’ll attract them to your bar, nightclub or restaurant.
The same can be done with a cultural phenomenon. Of course, the argument can be made that hashtags themselves fall into this category but that’s not what I’m talking about. We’re all familiar with the phrase “Netflix and chill,” which became part of our cultural lexicon and inspired a promotion at speakeasy-style Drumbar in Chicago.
Wynn nightlife, showing everyone why they’re one of the undisputed nightlife and daylife leaders, capitalized on a cultural phenomenon last week. Take a look at the short video below to see what I mean.
As you saw if you watched the video above, Wynn created a fully realized promotion around Shark Week, the Discovery Channel’s annual, weeklong programming event. Calling their promotion Shark Swim, Wynn’s nightlife and daylife destinations – Encore Beach Club, XS and Intrigue – were given full shark-inspired themes that lasted throughout the week, from projections to décor and even body-painted servers, inflatable pool sharks and "shark cage" dancing platforms. It was a sight to behold, and you can take a look at how far the Wynn team dove into the theme in the video below.
This promotion was impressively clever for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the incredible visibility of Shark Week. Believe it or not, it enjoys the distinction of being the longest-running cable TV programming event in history. Shark Week is ingrained in the culture of more than 70 countries, meaning Wynn nightlife leveraged something with a massive following and deep history; 2018 will mark the 30th year of this shark-focused programming. Should Wynn immerse their nightlife and daylife venues in this theme next year, the 30th anniversary of Shark Week will provide yet another marketing and design element.
Second, the annual cable TV event has reach. Shark Week is promoted heavily (one might even say shamelessly) across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Social media, webites and television are flooded by Shark Week, meaning there are hashtags aplenty for Wynn to jump on while creating their own, e.g., #SharkSwim. With all the attention Shark Week is given, the theme is front of mind for a significant portion of the population.
Third, the theme is relatively simple to implement, and it speaks to something in our psyches. Sharks are compelling, instantly recognizable, and provide a venue with several directions to take a promotion. Sleek, mysterious, nautical, summer, horror… There’s a lot of meat on this thematic bone, and Wynn’s Shark Swim took a big bite.
There’s no reason bar and nightclub operators around the world can’t find inspiration in Wynn nightlife’s Shark Swim promotion. Take the time to sit down with your team, have a conversation about pop culture, and identify a few highly recognizable movies, shows, comic books, video games, etc., that lend themselves to becoming a promotion concept you can leverage and scale up or down depending on budget. With the right combination of creativity and ingenuity a theme can be executed well without a massive budget. We look forward to seeing what you create through the end of 2017!
Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that Wynn nightlife's Shark Swim promotion has ended.