Las Vegas Celebrates 10 Years of Not Being Able to Think of a Better Slogan

“What happens here, stays here” is arguably the greatest advertising tagline ever written, and 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of not being able to come up with anything better.

It just doesn't get any better than this.
It just doesn’t get any better than this.

The famed tagline masterfully encapsulates the idea of Las Vegas being an adult playground, where fantasies are fulfilled and visitors can feel free to let loose.

While other campaigns have been used during the last decade, none have come close to the cultural impact of one simple phrase, “What happens here, stays here.”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and its agency of record R&R Partners, are launching a new effort titled “Vegas Enablers,” a variation on “What happens here, stays here,” mainly because developing a better tagline appears to be impossible for mere mortals.

Sin City's catch phrase continues to inspire other copywriters who also can't think of anything better.
Sin City’s catch phrase continues to inspire other copywriters who also can’t think of anything better.

Other ad campaigns have included a misguided one using the phrase “Know the Code,” where Las Vegas visitors were encouraged not to share their Las Vegas adventures in social media, and a more recent, even more baffling, campaign featuring someone named “Las Vegasdotcom.”

The first TV ads using “What happens here, stays here” were produced in November of 2002. The original campaign was going to launch with an ad, “Mistress in Disguise,” to air during the 2003 Super Bowl. It was rejected by the NFL, and like anything The Man doesn’t want you to see, everyone saw it, and the rest is Vegas history.

Here’s a great mash-up of Las Vegas ads over the intervening decade.

Since it began, the “What happens here, stays here” campaign has been inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame, was named one of the 10 best destination marketing campaigns ever by Forbes, and has received numerous other accolades.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority even claims the phrase inspired the “Hangover” movie franchise. Because, beyond its tagline, Las Vegas marketers are also known for just making things up. Except in the case of making up better taglines than “What happens here, stays here,” because, let’s face it, that ain’t gonna happen.