Published: March 1, 2014 By

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign

...Stays in Vegas

We all know that what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there, thanks to the creative slogan penned by Jason Hoff (Jour’00) and a colleague.

In early 2003 the tagline “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” was introduced to the public at the forefront of a new campaign from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority aimed at revitalizing the city’s image of adult freedom. Hoff and co-worker Jeff Candido at the advertising firm R&R Partners came up with the now-famous concept separately.

“We often do that as creatives,” Hoff says. “We go off on our own and come up with stuff, then come together and talk about it. This time we both had basically the same idea, with some variation. So we knew it was strong.”

The pair presented their tagline and wrote many alternate ways to express the idea, such as “anything goes” or “you never know,” but the original “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” remained the favorite.

The campaign is still in use today, and the tagline earned a permanent place on New York’s Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2011.

“I still hear celebrities using it, movies using it,” says Hoff, creative director of digital integration at the advertising and marketing agency Grey Group. “I feel proud to hear it being used and adapted. But the most interesting thing to see now is how tourists actually believe it when they go to Las Vegas.”

Despite its roaring success, Hoff says the tagline hasn’t defined his career.

“Believe it or not, in advertising most people don’t care about something they did 10 years ago,” he says. “But every now and then it’s brought up in a meeting, and it’s usually a meeting stopper. I’m asked to tell at least one story.”

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