Making Sense Of WynnLasVegas.com
By now you've probably heard that Wynn Las Vegas has launched a new website.
The reaction on The Board has been overwhelmingly negative. Rightly so.
The issues are numerous. Where do I start? Foolish CSS, inelegant design, no "casino" section, silly Steve on a green screen videos, klunky layout are all great reasons to smear the hate on thick. For me, the most egregious travesty is the decimation of Wynn's brand identity. I'm tempted to think that this website was designed by someone with zero internet savvy or skills thereto. I'm also compelled to think that the very same person might also be visually impaired. I'm also willing to bet the farm that it was designed personally by Steve Wynn.
It is no secret that Steve Wynn's eyesight is deteriorating, thus is the plight of those who live with the degenerative eye disorder Retinitis Pigmentosa. This wouldn't be a problem for the most CEO's as they would happily delegate the chores of branding and signage to their operations and marketing teams. This is what they get paid for. Steve Wynn, isn't most CEO's. He, like dearly departed Apple farmer Steve Jobs, demands approval on any and all branding initiatives. Sure. It is HIS company after all. But...
You have probably noticed how placard signage at Wynn went from creme on brown at opening to white on red when Encore opened and has since devolved to the highest contrast there is - white on black. In each successive iteration, the text has reduced and the fonts get bigger. Perhaps the best examples of this are the Garth Brooks posters which simply say "Garth" and "Wynn" in white on a black background. No details, no filigree, no fine print.
Perhaps the biggest piece of information to be gleaned from the new Wynn website is that Steve's megalomaniacal tendencies are going wholly unchecked. In the wake of Steve's split from the steadying hand of Elaine Wynn, the company splintered like a structurally compromised molar filled to the brim with abscess. The upheaval sparked a mass exodus of major players who created the Wynn dynasty, leaving new recruit Marilyn Winn Spiegel with the responsibility of quelling the pandemonium.
In one of her first acts, Ms. Spiegel charged former Caesars crony Michael Weaver to head their marketing, PR and advertising departments. Shortly thereafter, Wynn's "E Strategies" department was virtually eliminated, months after they launched a post-Flash version of their website. Their outstanding social media efforts, once an industry example of "how it should be done" have been floundering ever since. It was apparent then that all the talented people left in the post-Elaine Exodus. Now, we have the evidence.
What you see before you on WynnLasVegas.com is not only a representation of Steve Wynn's declining eyesight, but the sheer lack of vision (and courage) by the team he has hired to execute orders. We all knew at the outset that Marilyn Winn Spiegel has zero taste, she came from working at Bally's for god sakes. In her defense, she is purportedly an excellent organizer and certainly knows how to squeeze juice from a dried lemon. What she didn't do is guide Steve - in tandem with Weaver - to the conclusion that it is best to let an expert design the website, perhaps with input from Roger Thomas.
Steve Wynn trusts Roger Thomas to turn every drywalled cube into a lustful space filled with fantasy and wonder. Where is Steve Wynn's "Rog Thom" of the internet?
Yes, Mr. Wynn. Anything you say Mr. Wynn. Even if it isn't in the best interests of the company Mr. Wynn. As long as I get to keep this kushy job long enough to bronze my resume Mr. Wynn. And not be on the receiving end of one of your tirades Mr. Wynn.
The failure of the new WynnLasVegas.com isn't the markup, it is in the boardroom.
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