Las Vegas Revealed as Brand Behind Mysterious #WHHSH Campaign: “What Happens Here, Stays Here”

Published on : Saturday, December 5, 2015

Las VegasThe mysterious #WHHSH brand that’s created a buzz throughout digital and social media communities revealed itself as Las Vegas and the iconic ”What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign. Since the launch of the #WHHSH social media platforms on Oct. 29, the stealth alter ego continues to grow the number of followers; all while remaining silent about the #WHHSH identity.


Today, the #WHHSH site transformed from a mysterious website into an interactive and engaging platform, taking the consumer through the #WHHSH journey. The transformed site provides participants the chance to interact and win extravagant, memorable Vegas-focused rewards and experiences through April 2016. The first experience will bring a winner and a guest to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve.


“The ‘What Happens Here, Stays Here’ campaign has evolved over the years while remaining true to our brand promise of adult freedom,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). “With the continuing growth and popularity of social media channels, #WHHSH was the next step in our brand’s evolution, providing a perfect platform for us to engage potential visitors with the excitement of Las Vegas.”


Over the past month, Las Vegas stealthily promoted and attracted #WHHSH followers to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Periscope through surprise #WHHSH box hunts across the country and encouraged participants to uncover its identity.


For each #WHHSH box hunt, social media followers were given clues via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Participants then searched each city to find the hidden boxes filled with valuable gift cards worth up to $500. To redeem the prize, the first person to find the hidden box was directed to post a picture of themselves with the #WHHSH box on their social media channels; creating more curiosity amongst fellow fans who were unaware of the prize inside the box. In total, 79 prizes have been awarded since Oct. 29.


“’What Happens Here, Stays Here’ is one of the most iconic phrases in pop culture. With #WHHSH, people are interacting online with the Las Vegas brand like never before,” said Rob Dondero, executive vice president of R&R Partners, the integrated marketing agency of record for the LVCVA. “To have an unknown hashtag create this much mystery and intrigue around the country is impressive and shows that WHHSH still resonates across all channels and markets.”


For the first month of #WHHSH, the concept remained anonymous as the creative shifted to be more consumer focused with live-streams, user generated content and activations, allowing people throughout the country to be a part of #WHHSH. As the mystery behind #WHHSH began to increase, Las Vegas continued to build curiosity by conducting multiple mystery box hunts in San Diego, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.


In Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the #WHHSH hunts were broadcast via live stream on the popular, video-based social media app Periscope; making #WHHSH the first-ever brand to showcase a live scavenger hunt according to Periscope.


This is just the start. Visit and unbox your imagination or follow @WHHSH on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Periscope.


The widely popular “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign was built on the principle of adult freedom. Every year, millions of visitors seek sanctuary in Las Vegas as the place where everyone is able to be who they want to be.


In 2004, the LVCVA and R&R Partners won the Brandweek Grand Marketer of the Year Award, the first time an advertising agency has ever won this award with a client. Since then, the campaign has been inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame; parodied by “Saturday Night Live;” profiled on the front page of The New York Times; named one of the top 10 best destination marketing campaigns ever by Forbes; and inspired “The Hangover” movie franchise.


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