When it comes to website designs, there’s a fine line between too basic, and too heavy. (Flash, like every other type of spice, is best when used in moderation: If I have to wait for a little flash ap to load, I’ve already moved on to your competitor’s site.) The MGM Grand’s website though, is one of those rare exceptions to the rule.

Log on to their welcome page, and what you get is a nicely produced one-page design with just the right amount of information and tools. You get a good feel for what the MGM Grand is about and what it has to offer, you can book your rooms, take a tour, etc. So far so good: The perfect blend of simplicity, utility and style.

But if you click on the little link on the right hand side of the page – “Enter Maximum Vegas” – the site literally comes alive, so strap yourself in. The concept is brilliant, the immersive storytelling beautifully produced and executed, and I have to admit that it kind of blew me away. (And for about 45 seconds, I really thought I was a millionaire supermodel.)

I really don’t want to knock anything about this website, because it is one of the best I have run into yet, but I have to throw in my two cents.

Yep, I’m a party-pooper.

As much as I love the Maximum Vegas experience, it’s a little too heavy on the fantasy side to be effective: Pristine, deserted pools, gorgeous happy people in perfect designer clothes, no crowds anywhere, super hip suites… I don’t know. It’s gorgeous, it’s cool, it’s prettyto look at, but while the point is to pluck you from your chair and immerse you in the excitement of the MGM Grand experience, it fails to do so because it sells an obviously impossible fantasy instead of something even remotely genuine or authentic.

Maybe a more diverse selection of models and actors might have helped a bit. Maybe a few more people in the background here and there might have made the experience seem a little more plausible. A few subtle changes could have helped bridge the gap between this insanely posh fantasy and any semblance of realistic expectations about my stay (or your stay) at Vegas’ MGM Grand.

I am not saying that selling fantasy is a bad thing, but if you can’t fit a little bit of substance into your flash, you may be able to wow your audience, but you won’t connect with them.

And that’s bad.

You’re supposed to get people excited about your hotel and casino… not just a page on your website.

Great marketing isn’t just about showing off your skills, talent or technical prowess. If you don’t make it all work in the right context, you may be producing very entertaining work, but… you’re not doing what you were paid to do.

Definitely check it out and let me know what you think.

Hat tip to I / M / D .

Technorati Tags: , ,, , , , ,