The tony Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas made its name with the “Just the right amount of wrong” campaign.
Building on that theme this summer was an on-site installation that invited the public to share their "right amount of wrong" in an exhibition called "Confessions," a public art project designed by New Orleans artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang, whose public installations aim to spark conversation. Visitors were asked to share their secrets anonymously, keeping the brotherhood intact of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but wooing over 1,500 confessions by exhibit end.
As artist-in-residence at The Cosmopolitan, Chang turned its P3 Studio gallery into a giant confessional, “inspired by Post Secret, Shinto shrine prayer walls, and Catholicism, people could write and submit their confessions on wooden plaques in the privacy of confession booths.” The confessional themes that emerged ran the gamut: “Over half were about sex, love, or fears of dying alone.”
Looking for a distinctive and racier image, The Cosmopolitan staff worked with the Fallon agency in Minneapolis to devise a concept different from the plethora of panoramas depicting the Vegas strip – to the sexier activities likely happening inside the hotel.
The anonymous public confessions, free of judgments, were hung on the gallery walls with select responses blown up, with mood music to set the scene by Oliver Blank.
"We wanted something that really cut through what everyone was doing here," said Lisa Marchese, Cosmopolitan's CMO about the memorable tagline and branding campaign. "What's so great about them is they're the kind of ads that people will see and read different things into them. Even if you don't like them, you remember them."
The launch spot for The Cosmopolitan’s "Just the Right Amount of Wrong" campaign in October 2010 invited visitors to complete open-ended stories:
While this spot, "Let Me Go," premiered February 12, 2012 during The Grammy Awards:
“We continue to believe in the power of provocative and breakthrough creative as key to driving curiosity and trial of the brand. Particularly in a market as crowded as Las Vegas, standing out in a manner which resonates with our target guests is crucial,” said Marchese.
Getting those target guests to pony up public confessions anonymously in Chang’s recent art exhibition seems just the right amount of cleverness for a very cosmopolitan Las Vegas resort.