Hotel advertising tends to follow the road most travelled. But McCann New York doesn’t. Its campaign for MGM Resorts is a walk on the wild side.
MGM Resorts International is known as a hotels and casino brand. Its portfolio includes 28 hotel properties, some of which take up about 50% of Las Vegas’ main strip. But its aim is to become known as an entertainment brand in line with its 2017 brand campaign, Welcome to the Show, and messages such as, “We invented MGM to entertain the human race, to blow the mind of all mankind.”
It also a strong heritage of inclusion and diversity. The Human Rights Campaign named it as one of its Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, and the company held gay weddings in its chapels a good decade before same-sex marriage was legalised in the States.
These two things became part of MGM’s brief to McCann New York. And McCann thought, “Love songs are universal. Shouldn’t wedding songs be too.” So an album was created – an album of traditional, much-loved love songs made appropriate for the LGBTQ community. The album, Universal Love, celebrates “the enduring and overwhelming power of love and music to unite,” MGM Resorts International stated.
Bob Dylan, for example, sings Richard Whiting and Neil Moret’s classic, He’s Funny That Way, originally recorded by Billie Holliday. Kesha sings Janis Joplin’s I Need a Man to Love Me as I Need A Woman to Love Me.
Other artists include Ben Gibbard, St. Vincent, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Valerie June and Death Cab for Cutie’s Benjamin Gibbard.
The collection has been released on all the major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music. It will also be recorded on 10,000 vinyl albums, accompanied by notes written by music critic and Rolling Stone contributing editor, Anthony DeCurtis. These will go on sale on Record Store Day, April 21. The artists and Sony Music will receive their profit from the albums. MGM has decided that it won’t.