When wrong becomes right

The pair of jeans that look just the right side of being scruffy, bed hair that is just the right side of being a mess, and the hotel that is “just the right amount of wrong“. This is the tagline of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas – a tongue-in-cheek promise that embraces the debauchery and lifestyles of its worldly guests without going mum.

This witty advertising by Fallon conjures up a sense of the unexpected and adventure, tied with ‘Hotel Babylon-esque’ glimpse into the lives of some trendy, young things, with the adverts’ execution neatly finished and corseted with the panache and attention to detail of a scene from Moulin Rouge. Bohemia comes to mind, as well as a respect for non-conformity; and I like how the campaign veers sharply away from the unloveable teacher’s pet to the enigmatic trendsetter. Essentially, the campaign challenges the conventions of the high-end hotel, with the Cosmopolitan playing welcome host to the whims and gratifications of its eclectic guests. From the tempting tagline (you can almost replace ‘wrong’ with a potent cocktail) and surreal interweaving stories of the hotel guests plus a fondness for kittens and chicks, the campaign is very much about “who goes” rather “what goes” – this is a new hotel for the 21st century jetsetter. As the hotel’s CMO, Lisa Marchese, confirms to Adweek, the advert reaches out to the “curious class”, a group with “a real openness — a willingness to try new boutique hotel concepts, to try new food, to travel” in addition to the financial means.

Fallon’s 2010 launch spot consisted of packs of animals roaming the hotel’s halls, some derriere-flashing butlers and an unusual take of life in a lift (no claustrophobia here) – all introducing the tagline “Just the right amount of wrong”, and putting the Cosmopolitan on the map and likely iPad device of its future guest. Its follow-up, which broke on the Grammy Awards, continues with this inspired decadence but even more lavishly. This time the guests are let loose and sing their way through a poolside romance, the smooth maestro’s flirting accompanied with a dichotomy of accents (so wrong it’s right), with all the dialogue taken straight from the lyrics to Queen’s 1976 anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Again, it should not work, but it does.

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