New California Horse Racing TV Spots Suggest What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Stay in Vegas

April 19, 2007


Santa Monica, Calif., April 19, 2007 — For the first time, the California thoroughbred racing industry has joined forces to launch a statewide TV campaign promoting the sport and on-track attendance.

Aimed at young men who often weekend in Las Vegas, the spots take a humorous poke at the allure of Sin City.

"A day at the races is a good time and a lot closer than Vegas," said Shannon McDonald, industry spokesperson. "It's even safer," she said, referring to the over-the-top storylines of the commercials created by Santa Monica-based ad agency RPA.

In one, a young couple's life is interrupted by an unexpected visitor at the door, clearly a woman the man had encountered?and conveniently forgotten?on a previous trip to Vegas.

In another, a young woman uncovers an embarrassing tattoo on her boyfriend's backside and asks indignantly, "Who's Misty?"

The third spot, according to RPA creative director Pat Mendelson, is "the most subtle. It portrays a little interoffice intrigue, the aftermath of a company convention in Vegas gone wrong."

Co-directed by Erich Joiner and Bob Richardson from the production company Tool, all three commercials end with the protagonists and friends living it up at the track over a tagline, "You're this close to winning."

The campaign kicks off in late April, tied to the simultaneous spring meet openings at Hollywood Park in Southern California and Golden Gate Fields in the Bay Area, and will be used by other California tracks as they open later in the year.

Alan Landsburg, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, is optimistic about the effort. He foresees the first TV flight "as a jump start for new branding of our racing promotions."

Exec. Creative Director: Larry Postaer Creative Directors: Mark Erwin & Pat Mendelson Art Directors: Mark Erwin Copywriter: Pat Mendelson Agency Producer: Gary Paticoff Production Company & Location: Jennifer Siegel, Tool of North America, Santa Monica, CA Directors: Erich Joiner and Bob Richardson Director of Photography: Bob Richardson Editor & Company: John Hopp, Jigsaw Music/Sound Design: Nathan Dubin, Margarita Mix Principal Performers:  ? "Tattoo"   voice-over: Phil Buckman; on-cameras: Natalie Horton, James Di Giacomo, Paul Cassell  ? "Convention"   voice-over: Phil Buckman; on-cameras: J.C. Walsh, Bonnie Aarons, Joe Camareno, Cathy Giannone  ? "Doorbell"   voice-over: Phil Buckman; on-cameras: Coleen Ryan, Kristin Minter, Nipper Knapp, Jamison Reeves

About RPA RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is the largest independent advertising agency based on the West Coast, with more than $1 billion in billings. RPA builds momentum for brands by offering its clients truly integrated campaigns that resonate throughout its disciplines, which include traditional advertising, interactive, and direct and event marketing. RPA also serves as a media planning and buying agency for clients such as MGM, Lenox Financial Mortgage and Zatarain's. For more information, visit