Tuesday 10 January 2012

Learning From Las Vegas: Parts 1 and 2

In our final three entries on Las Vegas, we wanted to offer a kind of synopsis of our journey.  We don't take holidays as such and therefore we don't take holiday snaps, so our images are simply of what we see, what we wish to communicate to a wider audience and what our emotional response is to whatever we are viewing.  Naturally, the thoughts we share are ours and we like to leave our audience to make up their own minds about what they view too, after all we're not always 'right' (whatever that means) however, it is at least one voice reflecting on our Visual Merchandising industry and where we are now and where (we think) we need to be.  We approached Las Vegas in a similar way to that of the Architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, albeit very humbly following in their giant footsteps. 
Venturi and Brown visited Las Vegas nearly 40 years ago which led to their incredible book, Learning from Las Vegas.  Of course it was unrealistic to attempt to do everything that these phenomenal people did on their journey and therefore we were only ever going to be able to skim the surface of what they produced, however we have looked at some of the iconography contained within this urban sprawl from a commercial and visual perspective and attempted to record the journey to sale and the experience on that journey.  Also, we wanted to see for ourselves how these incredibly huge resorts work so hard to capture their often big money spending customers and how they attempt to keep them there by offering everything that one could possibly desire under one roof.  Each resort vies for the attention of the potential customer at every possible level in a very different way, to ensure that we part with our hard earned cash. These strategies in particular fascinate us.  Part 1, records very much how Vegas should be seen - from the automobile, where we have recorded what Venturi so wonderfully called the Architecture of Persuasion, or perhaps more commonly known to us as Visual Merchandisers as (the miss-named) Point of Sale (we prefer The Journey to Sale).  In Part 2 we look at some of the resorts and what some of the key elements are that hook us and reel us so willingingly in by capturing our attention, teasing us, promising so much, but ultimately one realises that the thin veneer of gloss, is just that.

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