Adrian Awards Case Studies 2012 - hsmai

Adrian Awards Case Studies 2012 - hsmai

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

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BEST OF SHOW & PLATINUM AWARDS Atlantis Paradise Island Canadian Tourism Commission,



Tourisme Quebec, Tourisme Montreal Hilton HHonors InterContinental Hotels Group Las Vegas Convention

& Visitors Authority Lindblad Expeditions Mohegan Sun Namibia Tourism Board Newfoundland

& Labrador Tourism New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau Norwegian Cruise Line Peter

Island Resort & Spa St. Kitts Tourism Authority Tourism Vancouver Travel Guard North America Wildcatter

Ranch & Resort BENEFACTOR & SPECIALTY AWARDS American Express/Hilton HHonors National

Geographic/HSMAI/Parador Resort & Spa Travelclick/KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort


advertising digital marketing public relations







Art Direction & Design


The HSMAI Marketing Review (USPS 677-730)

(ISSN 0746-9985) is published electronically

by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association

International, 1760 Old Meadow Rd., Suite

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Sales & Marketing Association International.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or

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22102; Phone: (703) 506-3280. The Hospitality

Sales & Marketing Association International is a

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growing the business of hotels and their partners

by fueling sales, inspiring marketing and

optimizing revenue. The material in this publication

reflects the opinions and philosophies

of the individual contributors—and does not

necessarily represent or reflect any position (official

or otherwise) of the Hospitality Sales &

Marketing Association International (HSMAI),

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The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

welcomes you to this annual issue of The Marketing Review containing the

best practices in hotel and travel-related marketing and media, showcased

by the HSMAI Adrian Awards competition’s Platinum and Best of Show


The Adrian Awards is the world’s largest advertising, digital marketing, and

public relations competition for hospitality, travel, and tourism. The 2012

winners were selected from a field of over 1,000 entries from around

the world. Chosen from the Gold award winners, the coveted Platinum

awards are given in each area of the competition, and usually one Platinum

winner in each area attains the ultimate honor of “Best in Show”

— this year we had a tie in Advertising, so we have four “Best in Show’s”

in 2012.

HSMAI’s mission is to grow the business of hotels and their partners by

fueling sales, inspiring marketing, and optimizing revenue. We are delighted

to share with our members the case studies in this issue in an effort to

fulfill that mission by providing you with the tools to succeed.

Mark your calendar for the 2013 Adrian Awards Competition opening in

July and the 2013 Adrian Awards Gala on Monday, February 24 th , 2014 in

New York.

Fran Brasseux

Executive Vice President


HSMAI officers and staff extend our thanks to

Taryn Schneider who authored this issue of the

Marketing Review and who has contributed to the

success of the HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala celebrations

for many years. She is president of Taryn

Schneider Communications, and has more than 25

years of hospitality, travel, and tourism experience

as a writer, editor, and marketing communications


This is the quote size

The 2013 Adrian Awards competition opens this year

on July 22 and the Adrian Awards Gala is scheduled for

Monday, February 24, 2014, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel

in New York City. Please contact HSMAI at 703-506-3280,

or see our website at for more information.

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Competition Case Studies

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American Queen Steamboat Company

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

Best Western International

Courtyard by Marriott

Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia Hotels

Downsize Fitness

El Al Israel Airlines

Empire State Development, New York State’s

Division of Tourism, I LOVE NEW YORK

Expedia Media Solutions

Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Hilton Worldwide


Marriott International’s Renaissance Hotels

Mohegan Sun

Montana Office of Tourism

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Red Roof Inn

Restaurant Kelly Liken

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples

Royal Caribbean International

Simon Pearce Mill

Tourism Vancouver

Travel Alberta

Visit Orlando



American Express/IHG

National Geographic & HSMAI/PUNTACANA

Resort and Club Suites

TravelClick/Best Western International

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Thank You!

For your generous support of the Adrian Awards.

A Celebration of Creative Excellence & Leadership in Travel and Hospitality

for Advertising, Public Relations and Digital Marketing.





Cloth Connection

Cornell University School of Hospitality Administration

Getty Images

Social Tables

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HSMAI Best of Show &

Platinum Awards

2012 Adrian Awards

Competition Case Studies

Recognizing best practices in sales and marketing for

the hospitality industry, the annual Hospitality Sales &

Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Adrian

Awards competition is a tribute to spectacular talent and

outstanding work. The competition was fierce. It was a

stunning showcase of creativity, ingenuity and originality

in travel marketing excellence. What follows are 35 case

studies of the Best of Show and Platinum Award winners—those

who reigned supreme.

Our industry thrives on the enthusiasm, passion and

creativity of the great minds that create spectacular work.

As a fellow marketer of hospitality and travel, we trust

you will find ideas and inspiration from these case studies,

as well as an appreciation for the companies and agencies

responsible for creating these great initiatives. HSMAI is

proud to present the Best of Show and Platinum Adrian

Award winners for 2012. Congratulations to you all!



American Express

Loyalty Award

National Geographic & HSMAI

Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award

The World is Your Oyster Award


eMarketer of the Year

Author: Taryn Schneider

Editor: Kathleen Tindell

Design: Rebecca Henigin



04 Co-Best of Show: Hilton Worldwide

06 Co-Best of Show: Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg


08 Courtyard by Marriott

09 Montana Office of Tourism

10 Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

11 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

12 Travel Alberta


14 Best of Show: Expedia Media Solutions


16 Best Western International

17 Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia Hotels

18 IHG

19 Marriott International’s Renaissance Hotels

20 Mohegan Sun

21 Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

22 The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples

23 Tourism Vancouver

24 Visit Orlando


26 Best of Show: Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia



28 American Queen Steamboat Company

29 The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

30 Best Western International

31 Downsize Fitness

32 El Al Israel Airlines

33 Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau

34 Hilton Hotels & Resorts

35 Hilton Hotels & Resorts

36 Empire State Development, New York State’s

Division of Tourism, I LOVE NEW YORK

37 Omni Bedford Springs Resort

38 Red Roof Inn

39 Restaurant Kelly Liken

40 Royal Caribbean International

41 Simon Pearce Mill


42 American Express Loyalty Award


44 National Geographic/HSMAI Leader in Sustainable

Tourism Award

PUNTACANA Resort & Club

46 The World is Your Oyster Award

Homewood Suites

48 TravelClick eMarketer of the Year

Best Western International







Hilton Worldwide>Hilton HHonors

Client Team: Hilton Worldwide>Nancy Deck vice president, multibrand & loyalty marketing;

Kasey O’Leary creative director, multi-brand & loyalty marketing

Agency Team: Publicis Kaplan Thaler>Rob Feakins president, chief creative officer;

Jay Williams executive creative director; Andrew McCree vice president management supervisor


SITUATION: Hotel guest programs were originally

created to thank and recognize customers for their repeat

business. As more programs emerged and the administration

of these programs grew more sophisticated, many

loyalty programs lost sight of their intention and their

focus on customers. In the travel category, competition

encouraged a battle for points and miles. Communications

became functional, transactional and less relevant

to the traveler. Consumers had trouble differentiating

one hotel guest program from the next. Many travelers

reported feeling less valued by the programs designed to

reward them. Instead, they felt confined and confused by

the restrictions and rules of hotel loyalty programs.

OBJECTIVE: There was tremendous opportunity to

transcend the category by recognizing the point of view

of the customer and the underlying motivations. With

that was the hope to inspire customer affinity to the

HHonors brand.

STRATEGY: HHonors understands that work takes up a

large amount of our lives, but that it is not what matters

most to us. People want a life filled with enriching experiences

and to share those moments with those closest to

them. With that, HHonors was positioned as a passport

to a world of possibilities to share with loved ones. While

it was important to demonstrate that HHonors members

can earn points at 3,800 hotels worldwide, it was more

important to portray that as secondary to the experiences

that can be gained through those points.

TACTICS: One of the biggest opportunity channels for

HHonors registrations is the in-hotel environment. Due

to the operational challenges of providing a consistent

presence at each of the 10 distinct brands in the Hilton

Worldwide portfolio, there has historically been a fairly

low presence of the Hilton HHonors brand on-property.

With the development of broadcast assets, there was

the opportunity to place a video on the closed-circuit

channel broadcast directly in each hotel room. The goal

was to develop a video that provided the hotel guests

with a clear understanding of the tangible benefits of the

HHonors program and an understanding of the brand

beliefs, as well as capture registrations at the front desk.

Prior to the development of the video, a research

study was conducted to evaluate a number of advertising

claims and positioning statements. A total of 19 different

concept statements were tested quantitatively in key

HHonors markets (Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, India,

Italy, Japan, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the U.S.). The

respondents, a mix of current HHonors members and

non-members, were asked to evaluate the concept statements

on likeability, communication efficiency, impact,

believability and persuasion. The results of this research

helped to define which program features and benefits

were highlighted in communications, and how they were

served up in creative.

RESULTS: Through June 30, 2012, year-to-date enrollments

increased 10% (to 2.1 million) over the same

time period from the year prior. June enrollments alone

topped 363,000, making it the highest number for

that month in the past five years. In-hotel registrations

increased more than 20% over the same period the prior

year, and is currently the largest channel for enrollments.

The goal was to develop a video that provided hotel guests with a clear

understanding of the tangible benefits of the HHonors program.


Hawaii Island, Hawaii





For long weekends or longer escapes, no one offers more

ways to use points with fewer restrictions. HHonors Points

make planning your adventure, your golf getaway, your

trip to the spa easier than ever. With Hilton HHonors ,

every point gets you closer to your paradise.

> STAY at ten brands serving every style, budget or occasion.

> ACHIEVE elite status faster than in any other program.

> USE points for even our most luxurious suites.

> DREAM at over 3,800 hotels in 88 countries.


©2012 Hilton Worldwide

HHonors was positioned as a passport to a world of possibilities

to share with loved ones.











Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg>BULLETIN Campaign

Client Team: Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg>Dr. Kent Lydecker museum director; Mary Szaroleta

marketing manager

Agency Team: Paradise Communications, Digital & Entertainment>Larry Tolpin president/chief creative

& innovation officer; Cedar Hames ceo/chief strategy officer; Rudy Webb account manager

SITUATION: The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) had

been a staple in the St. Petersburg, FL arts community for

nearly half a century. However, just like the city, it needed

to refresh its image and appeal to a younger audience.


• Develop a unique, engaging and thought-provoking

creative execution to generate buzz.

• Capture the attention of people in the Tampa Bay/St.

Petersburg area in a completely unexpected way, and

do it in unexpected places.

• Increase MFA brand and name awareness.

• Produce and execute a campaign that is lowcost,

yet highly effective.

• Increase awareness of the MFA’s permanent


• Increase admissions to the MFA.

RESULTS: With a cost of only $5,000, the BULLETIN

campaign contributed to the museum’s third-highest

attendance numbers in its 47-year history, attracting the

best attendance at the MFA in more than five years.

After the BULLETIN campaign was implemented,

total admissions increased 40 percent from the previous

best exhibit in 2010, and increased 206% from the first

exhibit in 2011.

STRATEGY: By telling people about the MFA

in a fresh, unexpected way, they were persuaded

to take a new look at the experience that the

MFA offers. The MFA BULLETIN campaign

was a guerrilla marketing effort that disrupted

the normal patterns of how people think about

museums and art. One of the museum’s first

initiatives after their major rebranding, the

MFA BULLETINS were strategically placed in

high-traffic areas to gain maximum exposure

to the target audience.

TACTICS: Instead of presenting the marketing

message in a stuffy or hidebound format,

sharpies and photocopiers were used to make

the message more powerful. The campaign

used the visual language of the corner coffee

shop bulletin board: the flyer stapled to a telephone

pole and the handbill tucked under

the windshield wiper of a car. It combined

this visual approach with something that no

one has ever seen before in this context —

images of some of the masterful works of art

on display at the MFA.

The campaign was a guerrilla marketing effort that disrupted the normal

patterns of how people think about museums and art.


With a cost of only $5,000, it contributed to the museum’s third-highest

attendance numbers in its 47-year history.







Courtyard by Marriott>‘Choose This’ TV Campaign

Client Team: Courtyard by Marriott>Gini Gladstone vice president, courtyard brand marketing,

marriott international; Janis Milham vice president & global brand manager, courtyard;

Alison Hill senior manager, marketing, courtyard

Agency Team: mcgarrybowen>Ahmer Kalam executive creative director;

Chris Greene group managing director; Ashleigh Pattee senior brand planner

SITUATION: Given the rise in hotel brands and service

tiers, business travelers (BTs) have a wide range to choose

from for their stays on the road. Many still feel restricted

— either to the more traditional full service options, or

to the “have to stays” predicated by limited per diems.

This feeling of confinement is especially true within

the select service tier, where many hotel brands serve

up similar and often limited benefits. As such, the real

opportunity lies in providing these BTs with a hotel that

actually “got them” and could deliver an experience to

counteract this constraint.

OBJECTIVES: The overarching goal of the TV

campaign was to elevate the brand message to a more

emotionally rich territory that clearly demonstrates that

Courtyard gets what its customers need today. To do this,

the communication campaign was designed to engage

the target audience to facilitate awareness of the Courtyard

brand and drive brand choice for Courtyard.

STRATEGY: So as not to be confined by their travel experience,

Courtyard positioned itself as the hotel where

BTs can experience more choices. They work hard, but

strive to make the most of their time and trip. As such,

they favor an environment where they can be themselves

and have more choices available to them — even if

they’re not going to use them all.

They seek out places where they can feel productive and

relaxed — where they can work on their laptops in the

hotel with a drink and be part of the social spaces and

“buzz,” versus just going to their room to hunker down.

Courtyard satisfies that with the new Bistro that offers a

variety of food/drink options for breakfast and dinner, a

24/7 market and free WiFi in the lobby. Plus, Courtyard’s

GoBoard ® , the award-winning virtual concierge, keeps

guests in the know, and the great lobby spaces provide

the opportunity to work, relax and socialize.

TACTICS: The TV campaign was designed to communicate

that Courtyard gives its customers more freedom to

choose how to travel so that they can make the most of

their stay. It distinguishes itself by reflecting the needs of

the modern business traveler, and by elevating the message

from the functional to the emotional. The campaign

included four 30-second spots with 3x15 cut downs.

RESULTS: Following a short burst of advertising to

launch the new campaign (two months), the TV creative

generated engagement in line with Courtyard’s well-established

campaigns from years prior. Further, recognition

of the new creative successfully maintained elevated levels

of brand choice for Courtyard.

Courtyard positioned itself as the hotel where business travelers can

experience more choices.



Montana Office of Tourism>Shaped by Montana

Client Team: Montana Office of Tourism>Katy Peterson chief of marketing; Jeri Duran division administrator

Agency Teams: MercuryCSC>Stacie Wunsch vice president of client services; Jeff Welch president;

Spark SMG>Steve Carlson media director; Kathleen Brennan media supervisor





SITUATION: How can you make an ad feel less like

it’s selling something and more like a conversation with

a friend? The Montana Office of Tourism’s (MTOT)

answer was the “Influencers” print campaign, consisting

of two-page spreads in a Q&A format with one page featuring

an interview and the other showcasing a full-page

photo of beautiful Montana imagery.


• Build awareness and increase intent to travel to

Montana among non-resident, first-time geotravelers.

• Increase target audience’s brand awareness from 15% in

May 2010 to 18% by May 2011.

• Increase target audience’s intent to travel to Montana

from 23% in May 2010 to 25% by May 2011.

• Support Montana tourism entities’ goal of increasing

their 2011 revenues and monitor shifts in Montana’s

overall visitation, national park visitation and lodging

occupancy/revenue in 2011.

STRATEGY: Research identified its target audience as

geotravelers — people who visit destinations that have

retained their historical, cultural and natural authenticity

of place. The geotraveler appreciates authenticity and

local knowledge but also has an aversion to advertising.

They find inspiration in travel, lifestyle and outdoor

recreation magazines, and rely on word of mouth to

influence their travel decisions.

• Kevin Connolly, a Winter X Games medalist and

photographer who was born without legs.

• Jenny Grossenbacher, a renowned fly-fishing guide

and author.


• In 2011, research showed that awareness of Montana

as a travel destination among geotravelers held steady

nationwide and in mature markets such as Minneapolis

and Seattle. Awareness in Chicago, a growth market,

exceeded the objective by 120%.

• Those aware of Montana’s advertising were 45% more

likely to travel to Montana than those unaware of the


• 2011 non-resident visitation levels reached 10.6 million

visitors, marking the third consecutive year of

increased visitation for the state.

• For every dollar invested in the campaign, visitors

spent $157 in Montana, up from $50 in 2005 and

tripling ROI in 6 years.

• Montana’s hotels had the nation’s second highest

hotel occupancy rates in July (86%) and August (85%),

increasing 5% YTD over 2010.

• 2011 visitors spent $2.8 billion (12% over 2010), generating

$275.7 million in tax revenue (17% over 2010).

Visitation to Montana ski resorts was up 9%, resulting

in a record-breaking year.

TACTICS: The visuals let Montana sell itself, emphasizing

the brand pillars of spectacular, unspoiled nature;

vibrant and charming small towns; and breathtaking

experiences by day, relaxing hospitality at night. The state

chose influential, but not famous, Montanans who had

been “Shaped by” the natural wonders that geotravelers

find compelling. The chosen “Influencers” were

charismatic and recognizable, having achieved notoriety

doing things that Montana’s visitors could experience

themselves. Journalist Scott McMillion interviewed the

Influencers who shared their thoughts about how Montana

shaped them.

Casey Anderson, a grizzly bear expert who hosts a

show on National Geographic Wild.

• Conrad Anker, a mountaineer who has summited Mt.

Everest three times and is sponsored by The North


Moonlight Basin, Big Sky, MT

The state chose influential,

but not famous, Montanans

who had been “Shaped by”

the natural wonders that

geotravelers find compelling.

19A. PRINT MEDIA - CONSUMER: “SHAPED BY…” (Appeared in Outside Magazine)

This two-page spread featured compelling winter imagery and an interview with Kevin Connolly who spoke about

how Montana has shaped him. Kevin is a Winter X Games medalist and photographer who was born without legs.

The elements of honesty, the unexpected and simplicity prevailed, helping Montana break through the clutter and

engage its target. SLIDE 1








Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism>‘Find Yourself’ Campaign

Client Team: Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism>Carmela Murphy director of marketing;

Andrea Peddle manager of advertising & communications; Denise Seach advertising officer

Agency Team: Target>Tom Murphy creative director; Jenny Smith creative group head; Terri Roberts senior writer

SITUATION: Confronted by real and perceptual barriers

of travel distance, time and cost, it takes deliberate planning

and a determined effort to visit Newfoundland and Labrador

(NL) — the most easterly point in North America.

Competing with a large number of well-known, wellfunded

tourism destinations, the challenge to lure travelers

to this off-the-beaten-path destination is great. NL is a

harsh and beautifully rugged destination that appeals to a

unique target.

OBJECTIVES: What was once the bread and butter

of business — the domestic traveler — is no sure thing

anymore. Canadians are spending 36% more on travel

beyond their borders than in 2009. The province also had

to overcome barriers of access and the increasing cost of

travel, along with a short tourism season of some 75 days.

Negative perceptions about the weather in NL were also

a deterrent.

Core business objectives were to increase non-resident

visitation and non-resident tourism expenditures. Communication

objectives were to increase interest in NL

as a travel destination and create a desire to visit NL by

evoking a rich, emotional response — a rewarding and

magnetic feeling about this amazing place.

STRATEGY: The deeper the emotions and feelings prospects

have about a place, the stronger the motivation to

find out more and to visit. While the campaign romances

the experience of being in NL, it is not about products.

The campaign celebrates the realness and natural creativity

of NL, and the fact that there’s an honesty to the place and

the people you just don’t find anywhere else. It focuses on

how they see things differently and shows who and what

they really are — a natural, yet surprisingly exotic place

that goes far beyond the packaged, programmed kind of

tourism other places offer.

The targets do not see themselves as tourists, but as

sophisticated and experienced travelers seeking unusual

places and experiences off the beaten path. They are

looking for an antidote to the stress and plastic of urban

life, and are interested in discovering an unspoiled, natural


TACTICS: The challenge was not only to evolve the story

of NL, but to redefine the approach to advertising within

the tourism category to differentiate the brand and build

equity in priority markets — all this while providing the

frequency and impact required to move the audience

along the communication hierarchy — from awareness,

interest and predisposition to action (inquiry or visit).

Creative executions including TV, newspaper, online and

a free standing insert campaign (with a custom Facebook

app) demonstrated their unique, natural and unpretentious

brand personality, while at the same time capturing that

somewhat spiritual feeling you get when you’re in NL.

RESULTS: Preliminary figures (end of July) showed a

10.6% increase in airport passenger movements; web visits

were up 22% and were well on their way to topping one

million for the fourth consecutive year. Despite an overall

decline in campaign media spend of 11.7%, total interest

in NL as a tourism destination was up 20.4%. TV ads have

accumulated nearly 135,000 views on YouTube.

The campaign celebrates the realness and natural creativity of NL…an

honesty to the place and the people you just don’t find anywhere else.


For more guest experiences, visit

For reservations, contact your travel professional, call The Ritz-Carlton at 800-241-3333 or visit us online.

76 hotels and resorts worldwide. Open 2011: Hong Kong, Muscat, Riyadh, Toronto.


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company>‘Let Us Stay With You’ Campaign

Client Team: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company>Clayton Ruebensaal vice president, marketing;

Lisa Poppen senior director, global brand marketing

Agency Team: Team One>Mark Miller chief strategy officer; Chris Graves chief creative officer;

Julie Michael executive director








SITUATION: Luxury used to mean something —

beyond expensive, difficult to obtain and a symbol of

overall affluence. Before the most recent recession, luxury

had become very accessible. And during the recession, an

already confused category struggled with relevance. Some

brands panicked, offering deep discounts, or rushed to

sites such as Gilt Group and Luxury Link to chase affluent

consumers who still had money to spend. Coming

out of a recession, brands were incredibly unclear about

what they stood for. Luxury promised the same thing

to all people. It had become attainable to the masses

and wasn’t special. Amid this, the idea was to come up

with a unique take on luxury and a unique view of the

consumer — one that would restore exceptional to a

category that required it.

OBJECTIVES: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

needed to shift the conversation about what constituted

luxury. Budget cuts in the recession contributed to a

setback in the critical tracking measure, “First Choice

Preference,” and the experience had become less unique.

A key competitor had surpassed them, and further losses

would result in the erosion of the heart of the brand

promise. So not only was luxury a confused category, the

brand had lost its once undisputed leadership. Objectives

were to:

• Identify a strategy that would reframe the luxury conversation

and play to the brand’s strengths.

• Create a message that would resonate globally.

• Regain “First Choice Preference.”

• Continue to drive room nights and revenue.

TACTICS: The research process was the most comprehensive

in brand history. They developed a strategic

hypothesis that global travelers have more in common by

virtue of what they love versus where they live.

The creative was rooted in the brand by using remarkable

experiences at The Ritz-Carlton. In print, a desktop

transforms into a beautiful memory of being at sea. A

walk through the city recalls moments of tranquility. A

glance out the window reminds one of a business trip

made exceptional. The stories were integrated into a fully

redesigned website, and a smartphone app allowed guests

to share their unforgettable experiences. A full suite of

communications materials was produced, from advertising

creative, email and collateral templates to a rich content

“featurette” on the website and an in-room video.

RESULTS: Since campaign launch, The Ritz-Carlton

achieved all-time company highs in revenue and market

share, the latter following nine consecutive months of

share growth. The new website saw impressive growth:

unique visitors, revenue and room nights up 14%, 34%

and 26%, respectively. Affluent travelers clearly responded

to an experience they perceived as worth it. The Ritz-

Carlton Hotel Company regained their status of “First

Choice Preference” over their primary competitor. ROI

from the some of the directly measurable digital aspects

of the campaign was approximately 7:1.

STRATEGY: The conventional approach of most hotels

is to ask their guests to stay with them. It was believed

that if the experience is truly special, guests would

return more often and pay more. The Ritz-Carlton

Hotel Company set out to reverse the paradigm with a

campaign built around: “Let Us Stay With You.” The idea

was simple and powerful. It focused on the incredible

memories created when guests experience The Ritz-

Carlton. And best of all it was true. The idea of creating

memories for guests is central to how The Ritz-Carlton

trains it’s Ladies and Gentlemen to do their jobs with

purpose, heart and creativity.

©2011 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

Let us take your eyelids back in time.

Let us re-create the recipe from your favorite meal in Paris.

Let us help you unwind without leaving the city.

Let us turn a weekend of pampering into a memory you’ll be reminded of at every turn.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company set out to reverse the paradigm

with a campaign built around: ‘Let Us Stay With You.’






Travel Alberta>(remember to breathe)

Client Team: Travel Alberta>Royce Chwin vice president, global marketing & communications

Agency Team: Karo>Sean Thonson director of photography; Phil Copithorne creative director;

Leigh Blakely planner; Chris Bowell circle productions; Dan McManus six degrees recording studio

SITUATION: According to 2011 Global Tourism Watch

surveys, awareness of Alberta in the eyes of international

travelers was 0.2%. A strong provincial brand was critical

in this competitive tourism marketplace.


• Drive awareness and preference of Alberta vacation


• Promote Alberta’s authentic experiences and breathtaking

landscapes both at home and around the world.

STRATEGY: Travel Alberta’s brand journey began by

looking inward at what they are, who they’re selling to

and what their destination can promise potential travelers.

Over 100 industry partners across Alberta participated

in a series of nine sessions involving in-depth discussions

about these topics. It was imperative that the brand

resonates with Alberta tourism providers as well as their

target customers. This process resulted in a new brand

seeped in the understanding that Alberta offers moments;

more specifically goosebump moments.

TACTICS: Prior to developing the consumer-facing

message, the concept of goosebump moments was tested

with an online panel of more than 3,000 travelers. Two

target audience segments, Free Spirits and Cultural

Explorers, found the concept compelling and indicated

that it increased the likelihood of visiting Alberta. With

affirmation that the promise of goosebump moments was

resonating with the target consumers, a global message

was developed.

High definition video was produced to support the

emotional message behind the idea of (remember to

breathe). Creatively and visually, the video is successful

in amplifying meaningful human moments using slow

motion, time lapses and emotive close-ups. Several of

Alberta’s finest musicians were commissioned to produce

original music for the video, which was as beautiful as

the land itself. The visuals and music combined proved

to be immensely impactful and stand out among many

of the marketing messages travelers are bombarded with.

The promotional video offers a compelling invitation for

travelers to share in Alberta’s authentic experiences.

RESULTS: The brand is receiving unprecedented attention

and recognition from around the world. The threeminute

promotional video was posted to YouTube, and

in less than six months, generated more than one million

views from around the globe.

Travel Alberta’s brand has elevated their position in the

tourism marketing arena. The strategy behind the brand

has connected their target audience with the emotional

experience Alberta has to offer. As such, visitation to

Alberta is on the rise. For the first four months of 2012,

all major tourism industry indicators were positive

compared to the same period last year. Hotel occupancy

in Alberta was up 3.9%, passenger growth at the Calgary

and Edmonton Airports was up 6% and hospitality employment

was up 2.1%. Alberta is outperforming all other

provinces in estimated growth percentages of overnight

visits and tourism expenditures.

The journey resulted in a new brand seeped in the understanding

that Alberta offers moments; more specifically goosebump moments.





Since getting involved

with HSMAI about

six years ago, I have met

terrific industry partners

to work with and

established market allies

from other hotels to

share and refer business.

I would highly recommend

membership to anyone

that wants to be successful

in hospitality.

- David C. Attardi

Vice President, B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group


Current City: Washington, DC

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

First Job: I worked at a laser tag place in Raleigh, NC called UltraZone

Role in HSMAI: VP of Membership for HSMAI Washington DC Chapter

Favorite Blog: Grantland

Things you need more of: Washington Nationals curly Ws (wins)

Things you need less of: Work ;)



C- 45







Expedia Media Solutions>Facebook FriendTrips Campaign

Client Team: Expedia Media Solutions

Program Partners>LAN Airlines, Tahiti Tourism, St. Vincent, Bermuda, Norwegian Cruises, The Villa Group,

Las Vegas CVA, Banff, Alberta, Korea Tourism Organization


SITUATION: In the spring of 2011, Expedia hosted a

record-breaking FriendTrips Game on Facebook and

invited its travel partners to join the promotion. The

program, which ran from March 15-April 29, sent groups

of friends on amazing trips to destinations around the

world. To enter, users became the pilot of a virtual plane

and added their friends to any of the participating destinations

in the program.

OBJECTIVES: The campaign was designed to increase

Expedia’s consumer-facing presence on Facebook and

bring value to Expedia’s partners through cooperation.

STRATEGY: Travel is inherently social, so the goal was

to tap into the very nature of how we as humans like to

share. People are excited about posting photos of their

travels because it is content they want to share. With that

in mind, Expedia set out to create content that Facebook

users would be proud to post and publish on their own

wall, as well as their friends’ walls. It was important to

create images and texts that would instigate viral sharing

and a positive sentiment. With customized trips that applied

to a wide variety of interests, Expedia was able to

leverage Facebook users to spread its message, which is

ultimately the most effective way to use Facebook.

TACTICS: Expedia Media Solutions, the media division

of Expedia, Inc., is continually exploring innovative ways

to drive awareness for its travel brand

partners, and FriendTrips offered a

compelling opportunity for brands to

leverage social media in their marketing

efforts. It worked with nine partnering

travel brands to sponsor the campaign,

and while Expedia did the heavy lifting

— concept development, creative,

implementation and promotion — the

brands were able to ride the tailwind of

the campaign with a minimal commitment

of resources or promotional

dollars. The campaign showcased destination

marketing organization partners

through dedicated pages, prominent

featured placements on Expedia’s Facebook

site, incentives and assets.

To execute and promote the campaign, Expedia

implemented a multi-million dollar media plan that

included social media engagement, a satellite press tour,

online advertising and email marketing components. This

was the strategy used to get in front of the Facebook

audience the campaign was targeting.

A multi-channel marketing campaign of paid, owned

and earned media that leveraged the full Facebook

marketing platform supported the sweepstakes. Expedia

integrated PR, print advertising, celebrity endorsement,

email marketing, promotion on Expedia’s and its partners’

websites and social outreach. A robust mix of Facebook

advertising using sponsored stories, marketplace and

premium ads was instrumental to the campaign’s success.

Expedia discovered that Facebook users are more than

twice as likely to participate if the prizes are significant

and as a result, the cost-per-fan was reduced by over

400% during the campaign, ultimately showing the value

of “going big.”

RESULTS: With over $1 million in prizes, the campaign

became the biggest sweepstakes in Facebook history.

Within just six weeks, Expedia expanded its fan base

from 130,000 to over one million, and the hundreds of

thousands of fans added during the campaign continue to

engage with the brand on Facebook.

On average, destinations with prize values over

$100,000 had 2.5 times the number of page views (and

The campaign was designed to increase Expedia’s consumer-facing presence

on Facebook and bring value to its partners through cooperation.


more than double the exposure) than destinations

with prize values under $100,000, saw twice as many

Facebook friends invited to participate, and had a

higher level of engagement. Destinations with prize

values of more than $100,000 saw an average of

95,000 page views, 130,000 Facebook users invited to

the destination, and 11,500 stories and photos uploaded

about their destination. Brands with prizes under

$100,000 had 27,000 page views, 44,500 Facebook

users invited to their destination, and 4,500 stories and

photos uploaded about their destination.

FriendTrips offered destination and travel brands an

opportunity to participate in a widely successful social

media marketing campaign that they may not have

had the time or resources to leverage, illustrating that

partnership and cooperation drove success for all.

Within just six weeks, Expedia expanded its fan base from 130,000

to over one million.









Best Western International>‘Be A Travel Hero’

Client Team: Best Western International>Karmela Gaffney director of marketing & ecommerce

Agency Teams: Ideas Collide>Matthew Clyde president & chief strategist;

Initiative>Dave Rosner executive vice president, director of digital & innovations; Gotham>Nick Johnson president;

Allison+Partners>Meghan Lee account director

SITUATION: In spring 2012, Best Western® set out

to emotionally connect with business travelers and be

an innovator in the social media space by breaking new

ground and delivering integrated reservation and reward

tools within Facebook — a first for a national hotel

chain. Knowing business travelers would be seeing similar

“buy/get” offers, Best Western wanted to reward them

with something more than just a free hotel room they

would receive from a standard loyalty offer.

To address this need, Best Western developed “Be a

Travel Hero,” a campaign that let guests see themselves

less as business travelers and more as travel heroes. Instead

of going on the road for just another business trip, Best

Western’s Travel Hero was working toward a free vacation

for their friends or family while also receiving the

opportunity to win their dream trip and other travel



• Drive acquisition, activation and revenue to Best

Western hotels and Rewards program.

• Build social engagement and outperform the previous

year’s spring promotion in revenue by adding a unique,

social media layer to the campaign.

• Prove that social media can be a business driver in the

hospitality industry.

STRATEGY: The campaign addressed sentiment that

extended beyond earning just a free night for family. It

helped business travelers turn feelings of guilt into a sense

of earning by providing the opportunity to win a dream

vacation to give back to those who mattered most to

them — their family and friends. In doing so, Best Western

redefined the term “road warrior,” as they created a

“hero” in business travelers working to earn quality time

and a free trip with their family and friends. Leveraging

an aggressive media plan and integrating owned channels

from email to individual hotel Facebook pages, the

campaign delivered an integrated message at all points of

digital contact with the target customer.

TACTICS: Be a Travel Hero offered weekly prizes and

a grand prize trip. A custom built Facebook application

was designed to be accessible and easy to use. In less than

three clicks, users could select a dream destination, name

the trip and share it with their Facebook friends who

were invited to join the virtual trip. With each dream

vacation, participants could enter their Rewards number

or enroll within the Facebook application.

RESULTS: Be a Travel Hero has been Best Western’s

most successful social media campaign to date, and is one

of the most successful promotions in the history of the

brand. The campaign yielded:

• 20 percent year-over-year revenue increase in reservations

over the previous year’s promotion, surpassing all

projections and generating as much revenue as the two

previous spring promotions combined.

• 283,617 “likes” were generated (a 250% increase) in

just 9 weeks, making Best Western one of the most

popular international hotel brands on Facebook.

• Social media brand engagement increased over 1,200


• Over 400 million impressions in media, shares and PR


• 13,852 unique trips were created via the travel planning

app on Facebook by over 8,611 different customers.

• It became the first global hotel brand to build the

capability for consumers to book reservations and sign

up for rewards seamlessly through Facebook.

Best Western redefined the term ‘road warrior,’ and created a ‘hero’ in business

travelers working to earn quality time and a free trip with their family.



Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia Hotels>Affinia Hotels Partners

with Boo, The World’s Cutest Dog

Client Team: Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia Hotels>Chrissy Denihan chief comfort officer, affinia hotels

Agency Team: Quinn & Co. Public Relations>Florence Quinn president; Katie Coleman vice president;

Christina Khoury senior account executive

SITUATION: Affinia Hotels, a super pet-friendly hotel

brand with properties in NYC and D.C., already had the

distinction of having one hotel as an official host hotel of

the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and another as

the number one pet-hotel on TripAdvisor two years in a

row. Now it wanted to share its dog-loving culture with

Facebook users.


• Increase awareness of Affinia’s pet-loving status with

Facebook users.

• Drive engagement and positive sentiment about Affinia

on Facebook.

• Increase awareness that Affinia is pet-friendly.

• Accomplish the above on a bite-size budget.

STRATEGY: With no budget for a big contest or

campaign, the big idea was to find and engage with the

biggest influencer among dog lovers on Facebook.

TACTICS: After thorough research, they found Boo, the

World’s Cutest Dog, with more than 4.6 million Facebook

“likes” and a highly engaged audience. Boo was

courted by engaging with his Facebook page. When Boo

posted about a trip to NYC, they replied to his post, inviting

him to stay at Affinia to indulge in its services and

amenities. Affinia followed up aggressively and didn’t give

up until Boo said yes. And so they arranged a three-night

stay for Boo at Affinia Gardens. The takeaway would be

that Affinia Hotels is so pet-friendly and cool that even

Boo, a worldwide celebrity and the most popular dog on

the planet, chose to stay at Affinia.

In exchange for the accommodations, Affinia:

• Teased Boo’s arrival by sharing a photo from his

Facebook page on Affinia’s page.

• Provided Boo with an Affinia-branded bandana to be

worn with the brand’s Chief Comfort Officer and a

bellman during a photo shoot in multiple locations on


• Created a photo album of Boo’s stay on Affinia’s page.

• Boo agreed to promote Affinia by

posting about his stay and linking

back to Affinia on Facebook.

RESULTS: With out-of-pocket expenses less than

$1,000, the message of Affinia as a dog-friendly hotel:

• Reached 4.6 million Facebook users when Boo

posted about his stay.

• Engaged with 23,000 people from Affinia’s page.

• Engagement produced 58,025 likes, 4,856 shares and


• 383 stories were created about Affinia’s photo album.

• 7,450 people saw one of Affinia’s posts from a story

published by a friend.

• 8.67% virality. (It is rare for an Affinia Facebook post

to have more than 5% virality.)

A sampling of the “wooftastic” comments:

• Would so love to snuggle with Boo when I visit

Affinia Manhattan… can you keep him please

• Affinia Manhattan here we come!

• Dog Friendly (dog app): Check out Boo’s pawesome

adventures at the very Dog-friendly Affinia Hotels!

• I didn’t know you were a pet friendly hotel. Awesome!








With no budget for a big contest, the big idea was to find and engage

with the biggest influencer among dog lovers on Facebook.






IHG>Priority Club® Rewards Summer Campaign — Mobile

Client Team: IHG>Lisa West manager mobile marketing; Darin Wonn manager, mobile products;

Brandi Conteh amer campaign manager

Agency Team: Vert Mobile

SITUATION: IHG’s (InterContinental Hotels Group)

Priority Club® Rewards (PCR) provides opportunities

for members to earn extra points for their stays. The 2012

Summer Campaign stretched over all IHG hotel brands,

offering up to 1,000 additional points per night plus

250 per stay when booked through IHG owned media

properties for PCR members.

OBJECTIVES: Apply mobile strategies through owned,

earned and paid media to:

• Drive sales and participation in the June-August

promotional period.

• Target and engage the mobile PCR members and


• Drive mobile web traffic and app downloads of all

PCR mobile application.

• Drive “Book Direct” bonus messaging encouraging

booking direct on owned media properties.

STRATEGY: Members registered for the promotion

across web and mobile using their member number/PIN,

and new guests were able to join the PCR program to

become eligible. Once registered, every eligible booking

and stay earned reward points for future use throughout

the summer at IHG brand properties around the globe.

TACTICS: IHG evaluated past quarterly PCR campaigns

and the impacts of mobile. In past years, mobile was the

fourth largest registration and revenue channel. This was

purely organic outside of an in-hotel POP placed in

public areas. It took a mostly retention-based campaign

and applied more of an acquisition-based tactic and a

more aggressive approach utilizing mobile as a major

promotional vehicle focused on owned media, paid

media and earned media.

Campaign execution: To reach both existing and

potential members, a variety of IHG®-owned mobile

media placements were used, including:

• Mobile merchandising across all owned IHG brand

and PCR mobile sites.

• Mobile PCR apps merchandising with iPhone ® operating

system Facebook ® integration to increase “likes”

and register at once, with a social extension to share

and download the Priority Club app.

• PCR app push notifications.

• In-hotel room key card inserts at all U.S., Canada and

Latin America hotel properties using SMS and QR

codes as the call to action.

Paid mobile media efforts included highly targeted and

location-aware paid media vehicles, including:

• A mobile campaign landing page that showcased the

benefits of a PCR membership.

• Hyper-targeted mobile rich media and static display

banners across several mobile ad networks.

• Claimed all 4,500+ venues on Foursquare ® , with

action-triggered replies across Twitter upon “check-in”

to IHG properties.

• Geo-targeted mobile video placements at the San

Francisco airports Wi-Fi network.

• An interactive mobile “askvertising” network with

Qriously®. Users took a quick poll to vote on their

favorite rewards program perk (bonus points, miles

or free nights), then received an ad to enroll in the


Across the entire campaign, registrations on

mobile devices accounted for more than 95,000 users or

15 percent of all program participation. This boosted mobile

to IHG’s second largest channel, behind email and

ahead of web, phone, social media and in-hotel channels.

The campaign generated more than 60 million impressions

and 288,000 clicks in key U.S. & Canadian markets.

From keycard inserts alone (U.S.), IHG received 49,000

QR code scans and more than 15,000 SMS registrations.

Facebook integration efforts resulted in nearly 9,000

Facebook “shares” (people having a message posted to

their friends and followers to encourage them to enroll in

the promotion), along with a link to download the PCR

app. This exponentially increased app downloads and

mobile web traffic. And a custom creative mobile landing

page had more than 100,000 visits during the campaign

period. Revenue exceeded a 3:1 ROI.

The campaign boosted mobile to IHG’s second largest channel, behind

email and ahead of web, phone, social media and in-hotel channels.



Marriott International’s Renaissance Hotels>‘Live Life to Discover’

Client Team: Marriott International’s Renaissance Hotels

Agency Team: Anomaly

SITUATION: As the original lifestyle brand of the Marriott

International portfolio, for years Renaissance Hotels had

suffered from inconsistent brand presentation, low levels of

brand awareness (3% top-of-mind awareness) and varying

levels of brand perception. Three years ago, under a new

management team, the brand set about on a journey to relaunch

the brand. For an international chain of 155 hotels in

35 countries and across five continents, the brand re-launch

was a pivotal moment.

OBJECTIVES: Drive brand awareness and consideration

by inspiring and provoking active, shareable discoveries.

Leverage key brand pillars of the on-property experience

(the way in which the hotel is presented), RNavigator (the

brand’s concierge service) and R Life (the brand’s publishing

platform) as key proof-points to believe in the brand.

STRATEGY: Where is it written business travel shouldn’t

be an inspiring, eye-opening getaway you just happen to

bring your briefcase along to? Why should honeymooners

and blissfully unplugged people on vacation be the only

ones with giant smiles wandering the lobbies? Since you

spend your life working you should discover the world as

you go. When you check into a Renaissance hotel — in any

part of the world — you should be greeted by a world of

amenities and local inspiration. Admire the handcrafted gold

leaf that adorns the ceiling of the Renaissance St. Pancras.

Have the best dim sum breakfast in Shanghai without leaving

your hotel. Go window shopping in Beijing in a market

that doesn’t even have windows.

TACTICS: was designed to inspire business

travelers to go out and discover something new, wherever

in the world they may be. It displays over 8,000 provocative

discoveries, brought to you by the Renaissance Navigators

and a host of inspiring third party content providers

(Thrillist and The New Yorker, amongst others). Most of the

travel writing available on the web doesn’t work for business

travelers; the recommendations take too long to read and

feel too long to share. So content was developed ensuring

that the information is uniquely useful and in a signature

tone of voice. All content is available on desktop, tablet and

mobile through responsive design, a category first.

RESULTS: While the journey is still at an early stage, the

early signs are extremely positive. According to the Hall &

Partners Spring 2012 Marriott Advertising Tracker, there has

been a 31% lift in consideration (from 26% to 34% top two

box score) and a 50% lift in advocacy (from 40% to 60% top

two box score). Since the site launched in April 2012, there

have been over 250,000 visits to the site and over 40,000

Discoveries viewed.







HOTELS was designed to inspire business travelers to go out and

discover something new, wherever in the world they may be.






Mohegan Sun>Shine 360º

Client Team: Mohegan Sun>George Galinsky vice president of marketing & communications

Agency Teams: People Ideas and Culture>Domenico Vitale chief creative officer;

Doug Raboy chief creative officer; Profero>Sam Barr account/production lead

SITUATION: With over 30,000 visitors a day to Mohegan

Sun, how can you activate them to generate communication

from the inside out? How could you get them to

share their experience, and in so doing, effectively turn

them into active media?

Turning to social media, they created Shine 360º, a

one-of-a-kind digital installation on the property which

would allow customers to share their Mohegan Sun

experience with the outside world.

OBJECTIVES: Generate social activity and buzz around

the brand from the inside out by creating brand advocates

from the thousands of guests who walk through

Mohegan Sun’s doors each day. They would be used to

reach new potential guests via “word of mouse” recommendations.

STRATEGY: Many traditional campaigns focus on

messaging that pushes in to the website or the property

doors. Mohegan Sun looked to create a campaign that

took the millions of shining moments happening there

each day and pushed them back out via social networks

and email. They harnessed the power of Mohegan Sun’s

most important media channel (visitors) to amplify the

brand message through social media and PR. Through

this effort, they were able to build Mohegan Sun’s social

presence and create conversation around the brand, encouraging

sharing and engagement. It is the first installation

to use this type of technology for a brand-sponsored

social media campaign.

TACTICS: Shine 360º was born out of two key insights.

They knew that visitors to Mohegan Sun were true

loyalists. Secondly, the huge growth of social media and

its ability to deliver earned media impressions allowed

them to communicate the Mohegan Sun experience

way beyond the reaches of each single visitor. Shine 360º

took those insights and combined them in a new and

innovative way.

A permanent fixture, Shine 360° is a 24-foot diameter

circular structure that was erected in the middle of Mohegan

Sun’s Casino of the Sky, adjacent to a high-traffic

entrance of the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena. The

patented technology has been seen at celebrity events

with the E! Hollywood Glam Cam, but was never before

made available as a permanent phygital installation for

free public use.

RESULTS: The majority of users valued the content and

felt it worthy of sharing: 2,960 Shine 360° videos were

made in the first 4 months post launch; 74% of those

(2,203) were shared on Facebook, resulting in:

• 6,559 story clicks (297% feedback rate)

• 2,130 story “likes” (96% feedback rate)

• 1,194 story comments (54% feedback rate) for a total

of 286% feedback rate per video shared and 445,467

story impressions. Prorated over the course of the year,

that equates to over 1.78 million impressions. Shine

360° has also generated significant online activity

beyond Facebook, demonstrated by the high search

results and blog mentions. In the first months since

launch, there were 16.1 million search results and over

44,000 blog mentions.

Turning to social media, Shine 360º is a digital installation that allows

customers to share their Mohegan Sun experience with the outside world.



Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism>Out of Office

Client Team: Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism>Carmela Murphy director of marketing;

Andrea Peddle manager of advertising & communications; Denise Seach advertising officer

Agency Team: Target>Jessica Penney art director; Graham North writer; Matt Tucker digital lead

SITUATION: In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL),

there’s no such thing as an accidental tourist. Confronted

by real and perceptual barriers of travel distance, time and

cost, it takes a determined effort to visit the most easterly

point in North America. The greatest opportunity to differentiate

from competitors lies in the “creativity” brand

positioning and personality.

The target audience do not see themselves as tourists,

but as sophisticated and experienced travelers seeking

unusual places and experiences off the beaten path. They

are curious people more interested in the unexpected

and authentic than in contrived, commercial tourist


OBJECTIVES: Canada scored a travel deficit of $16.3

billion in 2011, which reflected less disposable income

for the target to spend traveling to NL. Core business

objectives were to increase non-resident visitation and

non-resident tourism expenditures. Communication

objectives were to increase interest in NL as a travel destination

and create a desire to visit NL by evoking a rich,

emotional response — a rewarding and magnetic feeling

about this amazing place.

STRATEGY: Who doesn’t love the satisfying feeling of

setting your out of office message? It’s a chance to finally

cut ties and escape stress and responsibility. This universal

truth was the inspiration for the concept.

TACTICS: Newspapers provided support for TV in key

markets, addressing travel barriers and further romanticizing

the stories being told. Door hanger inserts appeared

as free standing inserts (FSI) in national newspapers that

could be used to playfully tell co-workers that you were

going way, way out of the office. They were delivered

near peak travel season, and exclusively partnering with

WestJet, highlighted a promotional offer to NL.

The FSI invited Canadians to escape to NL, showcasing

why this destination is the perfect haven from

the concrete jungle and the daily grind. The first insert

focused on NL’s 29,000 kilometers of coastline and more

than 200 breathtaking hiking trails; the second described

the change of pace that travelers find there. Creative

messaging also tackled perceived travel barriers of going

to NL, reminding the audience that “perspective is closer

than you think.” Only three hours from Toronto, travelers

are quickly absorbed into the province’s relaxing pace of

life. The FSI used a fully integrated approach including

traditional printed pieces and the development of a custom

Facebook application. Upon receiving the printed

inserts, the target was directed to Facebook where they

could use the app to make their own out of office message

and enter to win a pair of return flights to NL.








RESULTS: The FSI campaign was instrumental in

delivering business results for NL. Promotional codes

from WestJet, offering the audience a 10% reduction in

fare price to NL, were used to bring nearly 200 visitors

to NL. On Facebook, the audience

was highly engaged, generating

7,000 out of office messages, of

which 85% were original creations.

Geographically, the key market of

Ontario ranked first, creating 40%

of messages. Facebook “likes” also

increased by 4% during the month

of the promotion.

Who doesn’t love the satisfying feeling of setting your out of office

message? This universal truth was the inspiration for the concept.











The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples>Facebook Page

Client Team: The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples>Bruce Seigel director of sales & marketing;

Samantha Aberle ecommerce marketing manager

Agency Team: Pandemic Labs>Matt Peters creative director; Greg Shumchenia account manager

SITUATION: The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples appeals

to today’s sophisticated traveler. One of the leading

luxury resorts in Florida, the goal was to continue and

build on the 25-year legacy of the resorts and connect

with current and potential guests through a social platform,

Facebook. The Facebook page was used as an online

space where guests gain knowledge, expertise from

resort “experts,” experience events and resort happenings

in “real-time,” engage with a community of other

affluent travelers, and help The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of

Naples learn more about them as guests.


• To propel awareness and affinity of both Ritz-Carlton

resorts in Naples (The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and The

Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples), build engagement

with targeted markets, increase customer retentions,

humanize the brand/resorts and define the experience

with guests through a social marketing platform.

• Increase the number of relevant fans, increase daily

active users, improve average interactions per post,

provide a personalized experience for fans, integrate

Facebook (FB) with existing in-house Customer

Relationship Management system and guest services

department and increase organic reach of page.

STRATEGY: Key messaging was aligned with The Ritz-

Carlton brand’s “Let Us Stay With You®” marketing

platform. Primary focus was to broaden connections with

guests/Facebook fans and create memorable personal

experiences that “stay” with the guest long after checkout.

The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples Facebook page

is differentiated in the marketplace by connecting the

online social world with the on-property experience for

current, future and potential resort guests.


• Gather and record guest/fan preferences from interactions

on their FB page. Preferences are noted and then

recognized upon guest’s arrival.

• To help bridge the offline/online gap, FB fans are recognized

upon arrival at the resorts with a personalized

FB amenity and welcome card.

• Content is focused on providing fans with original,

real-time photos from the resorts’ biggest draws: beach,

pool, spa, golf, dining, etc., in a format that encourages


• Host live Q&A sessions with resort experts each

month on FB to further engagement, make resorts

more approachable and bring hotel experts’ knowledge

to fans.

• Fan acquisition is accomplished through FB advertising

to target demographics, organic growth, and

promoting FB in all print and digital marketing.


•, one of the top 10 referring sites to

The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples website, delivered

room revenue in 2011 and provided 5 wedding/catering

business leads in July 2012 alone.

• Awarded the inaugural “SMITTY” (Social Media in

Travel & Tourism) award by Travel + Leisure magazine

for “Best Use of a Social Platform — Individual Property

in North America.”

• Awarded the inaugural “SoHo” (Social Hotel) award

by Hotels magazine for “Best Facebook Page — Individual


• Live Q&A sessions provided a 168% average increase

in interactions on the day they run.

• Real-time photos of the beach and sunsets provide a

389% average increase above other post interactions.

• From Q1 2011 to Q1 2012, daily fan growth rate

increased by 201%; the amount of daily engaged users

quadrupled and average daily organic impressions

increased by 178%.

The focus was to broaden connections with guests/Facebook fans and

create memorable experiences that stay with the guest long after check-out.



Tourism Vancouver>Visit Vancouver iPad App


Client Team: Tourism Vancouver>Darren Johner manager, digital marketing

Agency Team: smashLAB Inc.>Eric Karjaluoto creative director; Eric Shelkie technical director



SITUATION: As a destination marketing organization

(DMO), Tourism Vancouver works to enhance awareness

and visitation. With the iPad continuing to see strong

adoption rates, smashLAB was asked to build an app to

reach potential visitors in this growing market. It would

need to serve multiple functions, ranging from training,

to a sales tool, to a visitor guide. Consequently, the needs

of several audiences, including tourists, travel agents and

Tourism Vancouver’s internal staff, would need to be considered

in the design of its functionality and appearance.

OBJECTIVES: In addition to creating a tool that serves

many purposes, the goal was to enhance destination

awareness and visitation to Vancouver by building an app

that sets the bar for future DMO iPad apps. In addition

to being easy-to-use, it should delight users with distinctive

visuals and striking imagery, while remaining within

the acceptable file size limitations.

RESULTS: The Visit Vancouver app sets the bar for future

DMO iPad apps by being highly intuitive and visually

striking while supporting the distinct needs of each of its

audiences. Whether it’s leading a virtual tour of the city,

searching for restaurants by cuisine, perusing the online

magazine or bookmarking their favorite pages, users are

engaged with striking imagery and content that is easy

to scan. There’s also added value for Tourism Vancouver’s

members and other local businesses through integrated

booking links to their hotels and restaurants.

In its first three months, the app was downloaded by

some 9,000 users, and has received over half a million

page views. Analytics indicate that users appear to be

highly engaged, spending more than 30 minutes on the

app and viewing about 29 pages per visit on average. Additionally,

user reviews have been extremely positive thus

far, with comments on the app’s beauty, tasteful presentation,

relevant information and ease of use.

STRATEGY: The overarching message was that Vancouver

is a breathtaking city that offers a diverse range of experiences,

and is also safe and friendly. The many different

neighborhoods, settings, and activities were showcased

through content that was organized into easy-to-scan

groupings and supported with compelling imagery.

TACTICS: Research into current DMO iPad apps

revealed that few remarkable ones seemed to exist, and

most of those that did were text-heavy, poorly organized

or difficult to navigate. Also, travel-related apps appeared

to be more common for the iPhone. The Travel Vancouver

app was designed to be easy to use and feel immediately

intuitive and highly responsive.

Users are immersed in relevant and interesting content,

which automatically refreshes and updates itself when

online. The design and content was kept simple and clear

in order to address any varying language levels of its users.

Best practices were applied for iPad UX design and

crafted for a flexible UI/IA that would adapt to varying

content, to create a responsive and enjoyable user experience.

It also needed to be a useful tool for all audiences,

which was addressed through clear content categories,

allowing users to find the information they’re looking for

quickly and easily.

The Visit Vancouver app sets the bar for DMO apps by being highly intuitive

and visually striking while supporting the needs of each of its audiences.






Visit Orlando> Re-Launch

Client Team: Visit Orlando>Danielle Courtenay chief marketing officer; Peter Cranis vice president of global

consumer marketing; Christopher Mattie director of web and application development; Sean Howells director, digital


Agency Team: Simpleview>Luke Johnson project manager; George Schaffer director of product management, cms

SITUATION: Visit Orlando felt their leisure travel

website needed new life. Users found the site difficult to

navigate and they were often unable to complete basic

tasks on the site. Satisfaction rates were trending downward

as a result and the SEO strategy for the site also

needed to be revisited. For a destination that was host to

more than 51 million visitors in 2010, having a best-inclass

website was a mandate.


• Create a site that delivered a great user experience

through exceptional design and content.

• Develop new information architecture that was more

intuitive, allowing users to find information with

minimal clicks.

• Reconstruct the site in a manner that allowed users to

complete tasks easier and faster.

STRATEGY: The website would

convey the brand pillars of Orlando as a leisure destination:

magic, adventure, discovery, rejuvenation and

metropolitan excitement. Orlando should be showcased

as a vibrant, international and one-of-a-kind destination

where families, friends and couples would not just create

memories but deepen relationships.

website fails users; and you invest in actually solving

your problems. Because the project was grounded in and

refined through user feedback, problem areas were where

planning and design really moved the needle.

Online ticket sales increased by 50% year over year and

task completion increased from 58% to 74% overall since

launch. Visitor planning kit requests also rose by 51%

and e-newsletter subscriptions increased 36% (both year

over year). Additionally, Google traffic increased by 36%

over the prior year and organic traffic for the keyword

“Orlando” was up 57% year over year.

Since its launch in March 2011, the site was on pace to

generate $7 million in annual gross revenue through ad

sales ($1M), travel bookings ($1M) and ticket sales ($5M).

Projecting that level of revenue over the expected life

of this version of the site (three years) totals $21 million

for an ROI of 42:1. As for incremental visitor spending

in Orlando, roughly 15% of website visitors convert to

actual visits, yielding an average of $1,000 spending per


TACTICS: Usability testing on the previous website

showed that users found it hard to find information or

complete basic tasks. Users also said content was helpful

in choosing Orlando as a destination but not in trip planning.

These findings set the stage for extensive planning

that included carefully re-sequencing every “user task”

and reorganizing all content during a multi-day, hands-on

task force sorting process.

The new focused on putting resources

at the fingertips of visitors, making it the single

best planning tool for anyone considering a trip to Orlando,

offering maps, itinerary tools, content for first-time

visitors and extensive information on attractions, hotels

and more. Beyond “planning,” the site also fulfills the

one-stop-shopping concept, offering not only hotel, air

and car booking but travel packages, discount cards and

tickets to the city’s most popular tourism attractions.

RESULTS: The story of the redesign

is that when you combine research, group planning and

user testing, four things happen: you discover misconceptions

about your destination; you learn what your target

users really want; you identify specific points where your

The new website conveys Orlando’s brand pillars as a leisure destination:

magic, adventure, discovery, rejuvenation and metropolitan excitement.



2012 HSMAI Adrian Award Winners

Your creativity & innovation are the best in the industry. And

your outstanding efforts have resulted in substantial gains

on behalf of your customers. THAT’S the best reward of all.

We’re proud to join you in this shared honor

Best of Show

& Platinum Adrian Award

Digital Marketing

Social Media Campaign

Expedia Facebook FriendTrips Campaign

Bronze Adrian Award

Web Site

Expedia Media Solutions

MGM Resorts International

Las Vegas Vacation Planner

Learn how to partner with Expedia Media Solutions to create successful,

award-winning campaigns for all members of the travel industry.










Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia Hotels>Affinia Hotels Tender

Loving Comfort® Campaign

Client Team: Denihan Hospitality Group/Affinia Hotels>Chrissy Denihan chief comfort officer, affinia hotels

Agency Team: Quinn & Co. Public Relations>Florence Quinn president; Katie Coleman vice president

SITUATION: Affinia Hotels, a collection of six hotels

in New York City and Washington, D.C., has a brand

positioning of comfort, and for many years had been using

Comfort by Design. Leveraging that and taking it to

new heights, a new comfort platform, the Tender Loving

Comfort® (TLC) Movement, was created to redefine

and replace the old gold standard of service with what

consumers want.


• Refresh Affinia’s comfort positioning.

• Increase brand awareness.

• Differentiate Affinia from other hotels.

• Improve guest satisfaction.

RESULTS: Over 800 placements and 1.3 billion media

impressions valued at $2.5 million, including the cover

of USA Today, most popular story on,

Fox Business Live, Chicago Tribune,, WABC-

TV, and Travel + Leisure. Over 40 tweets on launch day,

including National Geographic Traveler, syndicated Eileen

Ogintz and Family Travel Forum.

TLC VIP booked $1.2 million, becoming Affinia’s

best-selling package to date. Affinia Hotels’ revenue has

increased 15% since TLC was implemented. Since TLC

launched, Affinia showed the largest gain of any brand to

become the 2011 winner of customer satisfaction among

upper upscale hotels, according to Market Metrix.

STRATEGY: To understand what comfort means to

consumers, two surveys were commissioned. According

to STUDYLOGIC’s survey of 1,000 PUBLIC Americans, RELATIONS 80%

would rather stay at a friendly mid-priced hotel than a

luxury hotel with mediocre service. According to PortiCo’s

in-person interviews with Affinia guests, they want

interactions to be warm and comfortable, not formal.

Other influencers were brands that excelled at service,

input from the author of “Brains on Fire,” which revealed

that people respond to movements, not programs, as well

as Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Zappos’ Jedi staff trainings.

To provide leadership, a Chief Comfort Officer

(CCO) position was created, appointing Chrissy Denihan,

granddaughter of the founder and a naturally warm

person. To provide comfort-focused service, TLC Trainings

were conducted. Body-language expert Patti Wood

taught the staff how to read body cues, and Dushan

Zaric, an acclaimed bartender trainer instructed them

how to be present with guests. And to bring TLC into

each hotel, a TLC crew of talented staff was developed.

To provide guests with comfort products, Comfort

Carts included items such as special pillows and tech gear

for guest testing. To deliver feel-good experiences, the

TLC Crew hosts Comfort Hours where guests mingle

and test items. And to promote the TLC movement, TLC

VIP package offered an upgrade, comfort cupcake, wine

and late checkout. Kick-off events were held in New

York and Washington, D.C.

The Tender Loving Comfort ® Movement (TLC) was created to redefine

and replace the old gold standard of service with what consumers want.


TLC VIP booked $1.2

million, becoming Affinia’s

best-selling package to date.









American Queen Steamboat Company>Launch

Client Team: American Queen Steamboat Company>Jeffrey D. Krida ceo; John Waggoner chairman;

Tim Rubacky senior vice president

Agency Team: Lou Hammond & Associates>Lou Hammond chairman/founder; Mike Hicks vice president

SITUATION: As the river cruise niche roared in Europe

fueled by retiring baby boomers, voyages on America’s

heartland waterways had been non-existent since 2008.

A grand re-launch of the American Queen steamboat to

usher in a new era of overnight cruising on the Mississippi,

Ohio and Tennessee Rivers was critical. With more

than 50 percent of Americans planning domestic travel

in 2012 and 42 percent of those travelers seeking cultural

heritage experiences, the market was ripe for a steamboat

product return.

With recent failed U.S.-flagged cruise projects and

a new-build armed competitor on the horizon, it was

important to develop confidence in this project and the

executive team behind it. The largest steamboat ever

built, the American Queen would offer an all-American

crew and the celebrated cuisine of culinary director Regina

Charboneau. The team sought to leverage its role in

a river renaissance by showcasing nostalgia, tradition and

positive economic impact.


• Showcase the vision of the American Queen Steamboat

Company to key stakeholders including consumers,

travel agents and the community.

• Generate a patriotic buzz around this start-up company

re-launching an iconic mode of travel.

• Reach cruisers seeking a truly all-American experience

celebrated by Mark Twain and others.


• Earned media value $14+ million; combined coverage

reach 333+ million; $20 million in bookings the first

120 days of business.

• Pre-launch exposure highlights: multiple stories in the

Commercial Appeal and Associated Press in addition to

AOL Jobs, Delta Sky and San Francisco Chronicle.

• Launch coverage included wire features through

Associated Press and McClatchy newspapers totaling

100+ placements.

• New York Times travel section front-page feature:

$150,000 media value.

• Five-minute interview on CNN with Priscilla Presley:

$100,000 media value.

• USA Today travel section cover: $50,000 media value.

• American Way eight-page cover feature: $750,000 media


• Memphis television coverage on all network affiliates

with satellite generated hits in Orange County, Los

Angeles, San Diego, Houston, New Orleans, Kansas

City, Houston, Louisville, etc.

• Consumer and trade coverage included Miami Herald,

Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Seattle Times, Southern Living,

Travel Weekly, Travel Agent.


• Secured executive interviews building beat writer


• Planned and implemented cultural road show showcasing

American Queen to travel partners and media in

11 U.S. cities including New York, Chicago and Los

Angeles. Attended by 1800+ travel agents and 50+

outlets including the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco

Chronicle, Travel +Leisure and Food & Wine.

• Secured a desk-side with The New York Times travel

editor yielding an assignment for a staff writer and


• Promoted a Job Fair in Memphis, bringing 300+ new

jobs and an economic impact of $89 million to region.

• Hosted homeport newspaper Commercial Appeal for an

exclusive look into crew training.

• Secured a strategic alliance with Graceland leveraging

Priscilla Presley as Godmother.

• The Memphis christening ceremony and inaugural

season voyages hosted 60+ journalists including USA

Today, Condé Nast Traveler, American Way, Associated

Press, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, McClatchy newspapers,

Midwest Living and


Reach: 333+ Million

Ad Value: $14 Million

The team sought to leverage its role in a river renaissance by showcasing

nostalgia, tradition and positive economic impact.



The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel>Seashell Hunters Paradise

Client Team: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel>Nancy Hamilton communications director, lee county vcb;

Tamara Pigott executive director, lee county vcb

Agency Team: MMGY Global PR> Chuck Mardiks managing director; Elisa Fershtadt senior vice president;

SuJin Oh media specialist

SITUATION: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is

a warm weather destination offering more than a typical

sun and sea vacation. Its personality is quirky, fun

and relaxing, but it offers a serious and responsible side

as caretaker of its marine flora and fauna. Preservation

efforts and geography have allowed the destination’s Sanibel

Island to become known as the U.S. shelling capital.

More than 350 varieties of seashells wash up on shore

yearly. A “shell expert” from the Smithsonian Institution’s

National Museum of Natural History directs its Bailey

Matthews Shell Museum.

In 2012, Sanibel’s yearly Shell Fair marked its 75th

Anniversary. Named “Shellabration,” a series of events

was created to celebrate shelling’s importance. However,

there was low awareness of the destination and its unique

shelling offering. National media coverage would be

sought to build national awareness for the destination,

“Shellabration,” and its undisputed reputation as the U.S.

“Shelling Mecca.”

STRATEGY: Seek out the magazine-style CBS Sunday

Morning and reporter Bill Geist as the perfect outlet to

pitch shelling as an American summer pastime, the anniversary

event and local shelling personalities/experts.

RESULTS: CBS Sunday Morning aired a five-minute

segment on Sanibel as the “Shelling Mecca” in the U.S.

on Sunday, April 22, 2012 and Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Approximately 10 million viewers watched the segment

that had an advertising value of over $700,000 and ROI

of 60:1.

The story portrayed the destination’s location;

promoted “Shellabration,” the 75th Anniversary of the

Shell Fair; visuals of the beach and ocean showcasing the

natural beauty and laid-back qualities of the destination;

as well as interviews with locals and extreme shellers.







• Position The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel as the

“Shelling Mecca” of the U.S. using partners to differentiate

the destination from competitive sun and sand

vacation locations.

• Build national awareness.

• Leverage signature destination events to generate

national media interest and coverage.

• Educate the target audience on the location of the


CBS Sunday Morning aired a five-minute segment on Sanibel as the

‘Shelling Mecca’ in the U.S., reaching approximately 10 million viewers.





Best Western International>USA Today ‘I Care Clean’ Placement





Client Team: Best Western International>Dorothy Dowling senior vice president, marketing & sales; Craig Smith

managing director, communications; Laura Cherry senior manager, public relations

Agency Team: Allison+Partners>Scott Allison ceo; Meghan Lee group account director; Marcus Gamo, group

account director

SITUATION: “Hotel Germs Abound on TV Remote”…

“Bed Bugs Bite New York!” Rather than run

from headlines, Best Western International (BWI) tackled

the industry challenge head on. To take its commitment

to customer care and cleanliness to the next level, it

launched its new “I Care Clean” initiative in 2012.

The program takes a page from ultra-clean hospitals,

requiring all North American BWI Hotels to use innovative

new tools and technologies such as Ultra Violet

(UV) sterilization wands and UV inspection black lights

as part of their daily cleaning process in guest rooms and

common areas. This program is the first of its kind mandated

by any hotel brand, providing BWI with a unique

opportunity to promote this industry-leading program

and differentiate the brand from its competitors.

OBJECTIVES: Through the consumer introduction of

I Care Clean, BWI’s core objective was to stake its claim

to being the top midscale brand for hotel cleanliness.

Through a targeted media relations campaign to reach

consumers via USA Today, BWI’s additional core objectives

were to:

• Drive consumer awareness for the brand’s I Care

Clean program

• Support the brand’s commitment to leading the industry

in customer care

• Drive business consideration for BWI hotels across

North America

• Position BWI as the only mid-scale hotel brand going

above and beyond customer expectations for cleanliness.

BWI leveraged its relationship with reporter Barbara

DeLollis to meet with BWI CEO David Kong at the

ALIS hotel conference, where Kong exclusively shared

initial research and success metrics. De Lollis was then

provided the technology used by BWI staff to clean

rooms, B-roll and an exclusive conversation with BWI

executive Ron Pohl.


• The print version of USA Today reached more than

1.8 million readers.

• The average length of stay increased to 2.3 days vs. 1.6


• Guest satisfaction scores at properties trained to use

the new I Care Clean tools increased substantially, including

a 13.3 percent increase in “overall experience,”

a 12 percent increase in “cleanliness of room,” and a

12.4 percent jump in “intent to recommend.”

• A 15.1% increase in net room nights the week of May

27, and an additional 10.9% the week after.

• The print story spurred more than 380 broadcast stories

including CNN, LIVE! With Kelly, The New York

Times and more.

STRATEGY: BWI partnered with design firm IDEO

whose research identified a lack of consumer confidence

in cleanliness in midscale hotels. Additional research by

Booz & Company showed a clean hotel had become the

top guest priority surpassing customer service. On any

given night, more than 300,000 guests sleep at a BWI

hotel, providing the brand with a large pool of consumers

to share news about its I Care Clean program.

Through a strong placement, BWI sought to reach:

• Road-warrior business travelers, as more than 90% of

all guests arrive at a BWI hotel by car.

• Gen X and Gen Y leisure travelers.

• Families who are concerned about the cleanliness of

their hotel room and value the brand’s amenities.

• Other travel and media influencers.

Through the consumer introduction of ‘I Care Clean,’ BWI’s core objective

was to stake its claim to being the top midscale brand for hotel cleanliness.



Downsize Fitness>Downsizing the Obesity Epidemic


Agency Team: Zapwater Communications>Deanne Karen account supervisor; Stephanie Reay publicist



SITUATION: As a new gym in Chicago, Downsize Fitness

sought to increase awareness of its unique offerings

and differentiate itself in the cluttered fitness marketplace.

It would fill a void in the marketplace for overweight

individuals looking for a comfortable environment that

allows them to succeed in their weight loss endeavors.

The motivation for owner, Francis Wisniewski, to

open the gym was personal, as he was formerly obese

and lost 60 pounds. To achieve that, Wisniewski hired a

personal trainer to visit his home and provide fitness and

nutrition counseling since he did not feel comfortable

joining a gym as a “big” person. Realizing that not everyone

can afford this luxury, he conceptualized Downsize

Fitness, a gym where overweight individuals can pay an

affordable monthly fee to exercise in an intimate environment

and receive fitness and nutritional counseling

and support.

OBJECTIVES: Increase awareness to its target audience


• Conducting extensive media relations to reach local

Chicago-area residents.

• Communicating the key message that Downsize

Fitness is a gym that creates a comfortable setting

for overweight individuals while also providing all

resources needed to lose weight.

• Positioning the owner as a real life success story to appeal

to potential members looking to make a lifestyle


RESULTS: A two-page cover story in the Chicago Tribune

on Dec. 31, 2011 featured the owner’s own weight loss

experience and how it motivated him to open the gym

and its unique approach to weight loss; the new weight

loss challenge that Downsize Fitness was launching

in January 2012; and a client’s testimonial and photos.

Through the media exposure, the article received over

5,144,909 impressions. The Chicago Tribune tweeted a link

to the article reaching 72,197 followers.

The article was syndicated in over 120 different outlets

including the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago

RedEye, and The Huffington Post. The story was picked

up by national CBS news as well as a mention on The

Doctors, a nationally syndicated show. The overall value

from the article was over $1.3 million.

In terms of memberships:

• More than 40 people inquired about joining the

Chicago gym within 24 hours.

• The Chicago gym was at nearly full capacity five

weeks after the article ran.

• Consumers who viewed the article in different markets

have inquired about a Downsize Fitness opening

in their market.

Chicago Tribune

December 30, 2011

STRATEGY: The target audiences who would be potential

members were identified as 50 lbs+ overweight and/

or obese individuals who were looking to lose weight

but feel intimidated in a traditional gym setting. Media

relations outreach announced the opening of the gym,

explaining the unique niche it fills in the market. It was

decided that mainstream news media should be targeted

and that the best vehicle was a feature in the Chicago

Tribune, the city’s largest daily newspaper.

Health and fitness editor, Julie Deardorff, was approached

to tour the new gym space and learn about its

concept from the owner. That was timed for December,

conducive to New Year’s weight loss stories. She

interviewed the owner and top Chicago trainer, as well as

Downsize’s first client who provided her insight into her

experience and success at the gym.

More than 40 people inquired about joining the gym within 24 hours;

it was at nearly full capacity five weeks after the article ran.






El Al Israel Airlines>Wall Street Journal ‘Taking A Bite Out of Purim’

Client Team: El Al Israel Airlines>Danny Saadon vice president/general manager, north & central america;

Sheryl Stein manager, advertising and public relations

Agency Team: Quinn & Co. Public Relations> Florence Quinn president; Katie Coleman vice president

SITUATION: EL AL Israel Airlines wanted to increase

its awareness among a national and affluent demographic,

while maintaining its position as the first entrance point

to Israel.


• Communicate that EL AL, an airline known for its

high level of security, can also be light-hearted.

• Secure national coverage read by a broader and affluent

consumer travel audience.

• Position EL AL as an active member of the New York

City Jewish community.

RESULTS: Ralph Gardner of the Wall Street Journal

attended and wrote up the contest in a feature story.

“Taking a Bite Out of Purim” ran in print and online

(circulation: 2,096,169/UVM: 7,526,220) on Monday,

March 12. Gardner communicated the message that EL

AL was connecting in a fun, out-of-the-box way. Two

color photos ran: one depicting the professional eater,

Will “The Champ” Millender, and the other showcasing

the hamantaschen. The ad equivalency was $272,946.70.

STRATEGY: There was an opportunity to combine a

Jewish cultural pastime with competitive eating, a mainstream

American spectator event, by holding the firstever

national hamantaschen (a triangle-shaped cookie)

eating contest in honor of the Jewish holiday Purim.

A professional competitive eating organization, All Pro

Eating Promotions, was retained to run it and nationally

recognized professional-eater Will “The Champ” Millender

was brought in to serve as entertainment, a news

hook and the focal point for the contest. The four-time

and current New York stinky cheese eating champion

competed against the contest participants. Competitors

had six minutes to consume as many hamantaschen

as possible for the chance to win a flight to Tel Aviv.

The championship resulted in the first ever National

Hamanstaschen Eating Record, which was set by Will

“The Champ” Millender for 25 hamantaschen. The food

was provided by Borenstein Caterers, Inc., the company

that provides freshly prepared meals for all EL AL flights

departing JFK and Newark.

A strategic timeline was developed to ensure that all

logistics, preparation and media outreach were on track

and a press release was distributed including details of

the championship, rules and instructions for entering the

contest, and revealing the professional eater to the public.

The Wall Street Journal was targeted to reach a broader

consumer as well as the NYC Jewish community. Looking

outside the travel pages of the Wall Street Journal for

coverage, Ralph Gardner was pitched for his popular

feature, Urban Gardner.

To create awareness, a Jewish cultural pastime was combined with a mainstream

American spectator event with the first-ever national hamantaschen eating contest.



Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau>Hawaii’s Culinary Evolution

Client Team: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau>Jay Talwar senior vice president of marketing;

Darlene Morikawa director of pr/communications

Agency Team: McNeil Wilson Communications>Nathan Kam vice president; Rebecca Pang account supervisor

SITUATION: The joke used to be “the best food served

in Hawaii was on the plane ride over.” That hit a nerve

with 12 Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) chefs in 1991

who made it their mission to change that by utilizing

fresh, local ingredients and a fusion of influences from

east and west. HRC was the buzz for over a decade,

but began to fade as top food and travel editors across

the nation believed there was nothing new or exciting

happening in Hawaii’s food scene. While partly true, a

big shift occurred in 2010 as a new generation of chefs

sought to move beyond HRC and redefine the culinary

scene. New eateries fueled the excitement, along with a

renewed commitment to working with local suppliers to

serve cuisine honoring the ethnic diversity of Hawaii. In

2011, the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (HVCB)

and its PR agency used the opportunity to enhance its

messaging to communicate the culinary evolution taking

place in Hawaii.

• Print: Travel + Leisure: “Hawaii’s Next Wave,” communicated

the essence of Hawaii’s evolving food scene

with observations like: “Suddenly, out of the blue,

Hawaii is one of the most exciting places to eat in the


• Online: “New Hawaiian Food

Revolution” (print version ran online).

• Additional online: Stories appeared on Mr. Lindberg’s

“Carry On” blog: - Hawaii, You Had Me At Aloha

- Hawaii’s Artisanal Cocktails - Farm-to-Table, Hawaiian


• Social Media: Travel + Leisure Facebook chat with

Lindberg where he talked about his Hawaii experience.

• Radio: National talk show The Splendid Table interviewed

Lindberg about developments in Hawaii’s food







OBJECTIVES: Reach influential media in North

America and position Hawaii as a serious culinary

destination by:

• Changing the narrative on the Hawaiian Islands and

Hawaii food scene by generating prominent story

placements in the most influential national travel and

epicurean publications.

• Educating media on the concept of Aloha ‘Aina (a

respect for the land) and how Hawaii’s “sense of place”

— history, values and principals beyond the restaurant

— plays a strong role in the culinary experience.

• Exciting travelers visiting the Hawaiian Islands about

new and delicious culinary experiences awaiting them

through editorial, social media and word-of-mouth.

STRATEGY: The inaugural Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

was held on Oahu Sept. to Oct. 1, 2011. With Food &

Wine involved, the focus was on getting a culinary feature

placed in American Express Publications’ Travel + Leisure.

Jay Talwar, HVCB’s senior vice president of marketing,

met with Chris Quinlan, Food & Wine’s deputy editor, at

the festival and talked about Hawaii’s culinary evolution.

Quinlan recommended to Travel + Leisure research editor

Mario Mercado that Hawaii deserved consideration in

its May 2012 food issue. That led to editor-at-large Peter

Jon Lindberg being assigned the piece.

For his visit to Oahu and Hawaii Island, Lindberg was

provided contacts for chefs, restaurants, farms, ranches and

farmers markets, and the agency coordinated many of the

experiences featured in the story.


‘Hawaii’s Next Wave,’ communicated the essence of Hawaii’s evolving

food scene.








Hilton Hotels & Resorts>Travel + Leisure Feature

Client Team: Hilton Hotels & Resorts>John Forrest Ales senior director, global brand public relations,

hilton worldwide

Murphy O’Brien Public Relations>Allyson Rener president; Lucy Zepp senior vice president

SITUATION: From its start as the first coast-to-coast

hotel chain in the U.S. to more recently becoming the

first major hotelier to surpass 50,000 fans on Facebook,

Hilton Hotels & Resorts has a proud 93-year history.

Although the name is iconic and synonymous with “hotel,”

research revealed that the flagship brand of Hilton

Worldwide needed to strengthen its identity among

consumers. Hilton must continue to evolve and innovate

across hospitality touch points ranging from design,

technology and wellness to food & beverage, products

and services. The Hilton brand underwent a year-long

process in which it analyzed every aspect of its business,

followed by the development and implementation of several

key innovations aimed at clearly defining the brand

and ensuring long-term relevance among contemporary

global travelers.

OBJECTIVES: Establish Hilton Hotels & Resorts as a

brand with a strong sense of style, focus on innovation,

and as an expert in service and product quality. The aim

was to clearly define the brand as a hospitality leader.

The key message intended for this piece was to showcase

Hilton Hotels & Resorts as a brand rich in history with

an energized focus on continued innovation.

STRATEGY: Media strategies were developed around

new innovations and staggered consumer-facing unveilings

to generate ongoing buzz. A feature story in a

consumer publication would offer a comprehensive

narrative highlighting the brand as a stylish, forwardthinking

industry leader. Travel + Leisure was identified as

the target publication to reach sophisticated, well-traveled


Hilton conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative

market research in 78 countries that touched all of its

key constituencies. That insight shaped the development

and implementation of the strategic innovations and

media hooks that helped shape a feature story, such as:

• Peter Thomas Roth, global brand of exclusive upscale

bath amenities in guest rooms.

• eforea: spa at Hilton, first global branded spa concept

created by Hilton.

• Hilton Huanying, authentic offering of hotel amenities

and services to welcome Chinese guests abroad.

• Hilton Lobby, relevant, engaging and unexpected environment

centered around comfort, food and connection.

• Hilton Resorts, position Hilton as the expert on

resorts in the mind of the consumer.

RESULTS: The three-page feature story, titled “Reinventing

the Hilton hotel,” positioned Hilton as a pioneer

for nearly a century and also highlighted the brand’s

approach to remaining relevant for contemporary travelers.

This coverage differentiates Hilton Hotels & Resorts,

as multi-page features on a stand-alone brand are not

commonly placed within the pages of Travel + Leisure.

For a brand widely known as a popular choice for business

travelers to be featured in the coveted pages of a

consumer travel publication geared towards savvy leisure

travelers was an achievement.

Highlights included:

• Attention to the new line of products, “whose sleek,

minimalist packaging echoes the modern lines mandated

by the new Hilton design standards.”

• Inclusion of the new spa concept and robust development


• Emphasis on the lobby at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner

as raising the industry standard and serving as the

model from which Hilton lobbies around the world

will draw inspiration.

• The brand’s commitment to distinctly reflecting the

destinations and cultures of its properties through


• Closing sentiment: “The latest approach seems to be

revitalizing Conrad Hilton’s legacy for a new generation

of travelers.”

• This three-page story has an advertising equivalency of


Hilton Hotels & Resorts was positioned as a brand with a strong sense of

style, focus on innovation, and as an expert in service and product quality.


Offer valid between January 23, 2012 and February 7, 2012 at participating Hilton Huanying properties. Bonus

Points do not count toward elite tier qualification. Please allow up to six weeks for Bonus Points to appear in your

Hilton HHonors® account. Hilton HHonors® membership, earning of Points & Miles TM and redemption of points

are subject to Hilton HHonors® Terms and Conditions.


Hilton Hotels & Resorts>Hilton Huanying

Client Team: Hilton Hotels & Resorts>John Forrest Ales senior director, global brand public relations;

Rachel Bornak manager, global brand public relations

Agency Teams: Murphy O’Brien Public Relations>Kimi Ozawa vice president;

Christie Stewart account supervisor; Mitchell Communications Group>Shea Davis vice president;

Covalent Logic>Stafford Kendall business ambassador






SITUATION: Over the past decade, the number of

Chinese citizens traveling abroad has grown from virtually

zero to 55 million. Hilton saw a business opportunity

to grow its presence, revenue and favorability among

Chinese travelers by providing hotel amenities and

services important to the Chinese traveler. Hilton Hotels

& Resorts launched Hilton Huanying (“welcome” in

Chinese), providing an authentic welcome for Chinese

guests at major market properties around the world. Individual

guests, tour operators and travel agents can book

participating properties with confidence, knowing the

hotels offer detailed amenities and services at the front

desk, in the guest room and at breakfast.

Hilton Huanying revolves around an arrival experience

with a front desk team member fluent in Chinese;

the guest room experience featuring tea kettles, Chinese

teas, slippers and a TV channel dedicated to Chinese programming;

and breakfast featuring traditional foods such

as congee, fried rice, noodles and dim sum.

OBJECTIVES: Position itself as the leading international

hotel brand for Chinese travelers. It focused on five


• Generate broad media coverage to insert Hilton into

the high volume discussion about China’s rise in

global stature.

• Showcase a commitment to the China market, specifically

outbound Chinese travelers.

• Increase brand awareness and guest loyalty among

Chinese travelers.

• Garner increased media attention to reach those who

have an invested interest in the brand, including current

and potential owners and Chinese government


• Further position Hilton as the global leader in catering

to the various cultures of the world.

STRATEGY: Hilton conducted interviews with Chinese

clients, tour operators and Hilton team members to identify

program elements and set service standards. Execution


• San Francisco and China launches with media, agents

and government officials including Chinese-American

Mayor Ed Lee and Chinese Deputy Consul General Yi


• Activated a Chinese version of the Hilton Global

Media Center.

• Commissioned University of London’s School of

Oriental and African Studies to write “How the Rise

of Chinese Tourism will Change the Face of the European

Travel Industry.”

• Celebrated Chinese New Year with program additions,

a promotion and event in Washington, D.C. with an

authentic Chinese dragon.

• Unveiled “water dragon” slippers, exclusively designed

by Chinese fashion designer Vivienne Tam for the

program’s anniversary.

• Launched brand channel on Sina Weibo, China’s leading

social platform.


• Q1-Q2 bookings by Chinese guests increased 129%

at participating hotels over the same time last year.

Enrollment within China in the Hilton HHonors

program has increased 81%.

• Momentum encouraged others to offer the program,

increasing more than 30% to 69 properties in 23

countries since launch among all of Hilton Worldwide’s

10 brands.

• Chinese officials cited the program as the reason

China’s future president, Xi Jinping, chose Hilton

Istanbul for a state visit in early 2012.

• Key global media coverage spread awareness of the

brand and program with more than 500 stories

published reaching more than 655 million people and

garnering nearly 200 media requests.

• A limited supply of Vivienne Tam slippers on,

the brand’s retail site, sold out in less

than 24 hours after the global launch announcement.

The Vivienne Tam partnership grew the brand’s Weibo

presence approximately 67% to 1,444 page fans since

the promotion’s announcement.


We wish you all the best this year as we welcome the Year

of the Dragon. To celebrate this special time, we are giving

you 1,000 bonus Hilton HHonors® points. If you are already

a member, please provide your name and nine-digit Hilton

HHonors® number below and give it to a front desk team

member during your stay. If you are not currently a Hilton

HHonors® member, we invite you to complete the enclosed

enrollment information and leave it with one of our front desk

team members before you depart.



Hilton HHonors® #:

Hilton saw an opportunity to grow its revenue and favorability among

Chinese travelers by providing amenities and services important to them.











Empire State Development, New York State’s Division of Tourism,

I LOVE NEW YORK>The New York Times ‘Next Stop, Modern Presidency’

Client Team: Empire State Development, New York State’s Division of Tourism, I LOVE NEW YORK>

Harvey Cohen senior vice president, empire state development; Mary Miller managing director of tourism, empire state

development; Khorshid Rahmaninejad director of marketing & public relations, empire state development

Agency Team: M. Silver Associates>Morris Silver ceo; Linda Ayares senior vice president;

Melanie Klausner account supervisor

SITUATION: New York State’s historic and cultural attractions

are important components in branding the state

as a historic destination with a major role in this country’s

history. The state has a wealth of colonial villages,

canal towns, covered bridges, battlefields, grand estates,

humble homesteads, halls of fame, presidential sites and

many other landmarks, museums and historic sites.

A key endeavor was to target top-tier publications

with travel and cultural journalists to showcase New

York State’s unique historic and educational experiences.

One program that exemplifies these experiences is the

new Roosevelt Ride in Poughkeepsie. The National Park

Service operates the free daily “Roosevelt Ride” shuttle

bus service from Poughkeepsie Metro-North Station and

takes visitors to their choice of Roosevelt sites and the

Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park.


• Target discerning travelers/readers who are interested

in historic and cultural trips.

• Highlight New York State’s top historical attractions.

• Emphasize New York State’s strong year-round historical

and cultural sites and events.

• Interest was secured from The New York Times’ culture

critic-at-large to experience the Roosevelt Ride with

his photographer for a feature in the publication’s

“Weekend Arts” section. The agency arranged a special

itinerary for the journalist to review the exhibitions

in the individual locations in order to provide him

with full access and a well-rounded understanding of

the program. He was also given additional details and

helped to gain “insider knowledge” of the Roosevelt


RESULTS: The trip resulted in a full page spread in The

New York Times’ arts section featuring images and a detailed

description of the experience. The piece provided a

platform for people to become aware of the new service

as it was just being launched and encouraged travelers to

experience the Roosevelt Ride themselves. The coverage

increased awareness and emphasized New York State’s

reputation as a historic destination. The ad value for the

article was $538,722.


• The agency helped Dutchess County Tourism arrange

a group press trip for media to experience the service

before it opened to the public; the most influential

journalists were invited on the press trip.

Top-tier publications with travel and cultural journalists were targeted to

showcase New York State’s unique historic and educational experiences.



Omni Bedford Springs Resort>Martha Stewart Living Feature

Client Team: Omni Bedford Springs Resort>Scott Stuckey general manager (former); S. Lee Bowden general

manager (current)

Agency Team: Hawkins International Public Relations>Jennifer Hawkins president; Emily Easter account

director; Michelle Munick account director; Laura Lopez account executive






SITUATION: The Omni Bedford Springs Resort’s target

audience includes couples, families, spa-goers and weekend

getaway travelers both nationally and in the mid-

Atlantic region. Due to recent research citing women

as primary travel decision-makers and the draw of the

Springs Eternal Spa, affluent women were identified as

a key market. As a result, women’s lifestyle magazines

such as Martha Stewart Living were specifically identified

among primary target media for the resort.

OBJECTIVES: Mount a comprehensive public relations

campaign that would result in securing high-level media

to visit the resort first-hand.

STRATEGY: Among the journalists pitched was Yolanda

Edwards, a former travel editor for a high-end national

family magazine, who was freelancing at the time. As a

result of the pitch, a stay was arranged at the resort for

her and her family in 2009. In early 2011, she was named

editor-at-large for Martha Stewart Living, tasked with

producing travel features, a relatively new venture for the

magazine. The agency provided story angle ideas to her,

and as a result, she visited again in April. In June, Edwards

along with a photographer and photo assistant returned

for a three-day photo shoot. Interviews were arranged

with both the general manager and the resort’s historian.

In addition, an exclusive offer for Martha Stewart Living

readers was incorporated into the piece.

The primary messages conveyed to both the journalist

and photographer during their visits included:

• The Omni Bedford Springs respects the history of the

resort by incorporating original design details and furniture,

such as displaying James Buchanan’s desk, guest

books from the 1800s in the lobby, as well as photographs

from the resort’s heyday throughout, while also

adding modern amenities, such as Springs Eternal Spa.

• The destination of Bedford Springs offers several

historical sites for travelers.

• The resort is an ideal destination for couples and families,

as it provides a serene, relaxing and educational

setting for a getaway.

RESULTS: In the November 2011 issue of Martha

Stewart Living, the Omni Bedford Springs appeared in an

eight-page feature travel story, reaching more than 2 million

readers nationwide. It was the first resort to receive

such extensive coverage in the magazine. Several photos

of both the resort and the destination were included, as

well as quotes from local historian William Defibaugh.

The exclusive offer mentioned in the article resulted

in additional revenue of $8,400 for the resort (this only

counts those guests who redeemed the offer when

booking). The resort continues to receive inquiries and

comments from guests and prospective guests specifically

mentioning the Martha Stewart Living piece, and the

resort’s sales and marketing team utilizes the article as a

compelling sales tool.

The Omni Bedford Springs appeared in an 8-page story in Martha Stewart

Living, the first resort to receive such extensive coverage in the magazine.





Red Roof Inn>Rediscover America, Summer 2012

Client Team: Red Roof Inn>Marina MacDonald senior vice president, sales & marketing

Agency Team: Hill + Knowlton Strategies>Cori Rice president



SITUATION: Red Roof Inn, known for being a

forward-thinking brand that engages its audience with

intuitively designed rooms and offerings to make guests

feel at home (free breakfast, newspapers at your door,

etc.), wanted to create excitement around the popularity

of summer travel in the U.S.


• Create an imaginative and useful press kit that connects

with media and promotes Red Roof in the

minds of summer travelers in the U.S.

• Highlight Red Roof’s offering of a Summer Coupon

Book at all properties nationwide, which gives guests

even more savings at participating restaurants and


STRATEGY: A vivid print press kit was created that

highlighted the concept of “Rediscovering America” —

vacationing in the U.S. and driving to your destination.

It included tips for summer travel savings, mobile apps to

help travelers on the road and a list of American historical

monuments to visit while vacationing at specific Red

Roof properties. The key message intended for the press

kit was to communicate that Red Roof is the ultimate

authority in value and summer travel savings — the first

choice for consumers looking for an affordable summer

vacation while actually putting cash back in their pockets.

This primary message was supported by the Red Roof

Summer Coupon Book, and additional tips for saving

on summer travel, including using one’s smartphone to

locate the best gas prices and driving to vacation spots,

rather than flying.

National, regional and local newspapers in markets

within driving distance of Red Roof locations, as well

as popular online sites known for posting travel deals,

were approached to reach their audience. A target list

was compiled of 200 media in markets with the highest

concentration of Red Roof Inn properties.

The information included four fact sheets that

included relevant, valuable tips on how to save on summer

travel and other fun summer info and tips. Upon

completion of the press kit, the agency mailed hand written

notes to top-tier media in 200 markets and followed

up with media after the mailing to secure placements.

RESULTS: The effectiveness of the press kit was measured

by the creative design, which resonated with the

client, media and consumers. Success was measured by

the high number of media impressions and media value

in target markets that contained a high concentration of

Red Roof properties.

Distribution of the release over BusinessWire penetrated

some 380 media outlets including the Los Angeles

Times, Montreal Gazette, Orlando Sentinel, South-Florida

Sun-Sentinel, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Columbus Dispatch,

Calgary Herald, ABC Online, Boston Globe, CBS Moneywatch,

Daily Herald, Dallas Morning News, Houston

Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Yahoo! Finance among


To date, the news regarding Red Roof’s Summer

Coupon Book garnered more than 227.5 million impressions

with a media value of over $451,000.

The Red Roof Building • 605 South Front Street Columbus, Oh 43215 • P 614.744.2600

A press kit was created that highlighted the concept of ‘Rediscovering

America’ — vacationing in the U.S. and driving to your destination.



Restaurant Kelly Liken>Food & Wine ‘A Cowboy Cookout

at 10,000 Feet’

Client Team: Restaurant Kelly Liken>Kelly Liken owner/chef

Agency Team: Wagstaff Worldwide>Vanessa Kanegai vice president




SITUATION: Restaurant Kelly Liken is the go-to fine

dining destination owned by Kelly Liken, one of the nation’s

leading female chefs who features straight-forward

American cuisine with a Rocky Mountain flair as well

as hand-crafted seasonal cocktails. Located in Vail, CO, it

attracts locals as well as epicureans and the well-traveled

from throughout the country and the world. In addition

to the cuisine, Liken’s commitment to sourcing local,

sustainable food has established her as a leader in the

farm-to-table movement.


• Secure feature editorial coverage on chef/owner, Kelly

Liken, and Restaurant Kelly Liken in national food

publications such as Food & Wine.

• Promote Kelly Liken as the visionary and culinary

talent behind Restaurant Kelly Liken, highlighting her

dedication to using local, seasonal ingredients, her relationships

with the local farmers and people who make

up the quintessential Rocky Mountain experience,

lobbying for a best chef award, and inclusion in restaurant

issues of national magazines and other awards and


• Promote the lifestyle of the Rocky Mountain region

as well as Kelly Liken’s talents and interests outside of

the kitchen together with Colorado outfitter Bearcat


• Promote Kelly Liken’s cooking philosophy as showcased

in an equine and culinary outdoor adventure

translating the fine dining experience and high-quality

flavors and ingredients she is known for at her restaurant.

• Identify opportunities for Kelly Liken to participate in

national culinary events to gain exposure for Restaurant

Kelly Liken and her culinary talents.


• “The Cowboy Cookout at 10,000 Feet” was featured

in the Food & Wine August 2012 issue, with 12 pages

of images and text on the Vail to Aspen trek and

Liken’s cooking.

• Total reach: circulation of 925,000 in the U.S.

• Advertising equivalency: $948,150.

• Print coverage: A 12-page entertaining and recipe

spread and photo gallery on the Food & Wine iPad app.

The feature positioned the restaurant as a must visit

destination dining experience.

• Online: The Food & Wine website reached approximately

694,273 unique views during the month the

issue was on newsstands.

• National exposure for Kelly Liken resulted in partnerships

opportunities, event appearances and drove

customers through the doors. The agency further

leveraged the article by hosting a re-created “Cowboy

Cookout” at Restaurant Kelly Liken during the

month the issue was on newsstands so that locals and

visitors who were not able to attend the trek could

experience the meal firsthand.


The agency researched notable food issues of national

publications that would reach the broadest audience of

food lovers. A pitch was sent to former senior editor Jen

Murphy, at Food & Wine that focused on Kelly’s Vail to

Aspen equine and culinary trek with Colorado outfitter

Bearcat Stables. Upon acceptance, follow-up included

arrangements for the assigned writer, photo shoot, styling,

recipes and recipe testing.

National exposure for Kelly Liken resulted in partnerships opportunities,

event appearances and drove customers through the doors.








Royal Caribbean International>‘The Sea is Calling’ Global Brand

Campaign Launch

Client Team: Royal Caribbean International>Tracy Quan director brand communications;

Lyan Sierra-Caro senior account executive, brand communications; Harry Liu Manager, brand communications

Agency Team: Weber Shandwick>Alice Diaz executive vice president; Erin Burden senior vice president;

Ellen Wilson group manager

SITUATION: In December 2011, Royal Caribbean

International launched a new global brand campaign that

tapped into consumers’ emotional connection with the

very core of the cruise line’s offering — sailing on the

high seas. In a nod to the omnipresence of cellphones,

the campaign utilized playful imagery of a “Shellphone,”

a conch shell used as a phone, whereby those who

answered had a direct line to “the sea,” and who were

encouraged to come visit “her.” The final takeaway was

for people to enjoy all that a Royal Caribbean cruise

vacation could offer by illustrating its decree: “The Sea is

Calling. Answer it Royally.”

OBJECTIVES: To support and amplify the launch of the

new global campaign in an impactful and engaging way

while also helping to overcome consumer misconceptions

about cruising.

STRATEGY: The campaign message tapped into the

sea’s powerful, emotional force to challenge old perceptions

and reframe the context of cruising for consumers

who don’t understand what a Royal Caribbean cruise

vacation offers. “The Sea is Calling” was a global-scale

campaign intended to resonate with people no matter

where they lived, what language they spoke, or whether

or not they’ve cruised before. Royal Caribbean wanted

vacationers everywhere to know that its distinctive and

innovative ships, personal service and breadth of destination

experiences was how they “Answer it Royally.”

Initiatives included:

• Introducing the campaign via a New York Times exclusive

with advertising reporter, Stuart Elliott.

• The same day, news of the Shellphone and its “Sea G”

network (a spoof of 3G) were introduced on technology

website Gizmodo as a fake news story which

parodied the leak of the latest iPhone. The sponsored

content, authored by the PR team, included a second

post on Dec. 19 to inform consumers of the Shellphone’s

splashy arrival.

• A paid media integration with Jimmy Kimmel Live

was also incorporated into the launch period in which

Jimmy received a phone call from “the sea” on-air via

a Shellphone.

• Royal Caribbean brought the cruise vacation experience

to commuters aboard the Times Square shuttle

in New York via subway cars wrapped to look like

Royal ships and entertainment from the cruise line

during the morning commute. The experience was

completed with a flash mob of “vacationers” talking

on Shellphones.


• The campaign launch garnered more than 30 media

placements with an estimated audience reach of 20


• The New York Times exclusive alone reached an audience

of 15.2 million, while sponsored content with

Gizmodo and Jimmy Kimmel Live garnered an audience

of 2.9 million and 1.7 million, respectively. The

Kimmel segment cost $60,000 and had a publicity

value of $399,490.

• An in-depth interview on the campaign with Royal

Caribbean’s senior vice president of marketing resulted

in coverage in the “CMO Network” section of as well as an exclusive with industry trade

Travel Weekly.

• Feature coverage also appeared in Royal Caribbean’s

“hometown” daily newspapers: The Miami Herald and

South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

• The subway shuttle wrap and flash mob also generated

significant social media buzz and excitement from

consumers and media alike including a tweet touting

the effort from Condé Nast Traveler, the world’s authority

on travel.

‘The Sea is Calling’ resonated with people no matter where they lived,

what language they spoke, or whether they’ve cruised before.



Simon Pearce Mill>Reopening of the Simon Pearce Mill

After Hurricane Irene Closure

Client Team: Simon Pearce Mill>Ross Evans director of marketing

Agency Team: Redpoint Marketing PR>Christina Miranda principal





SITUATION: The Simon Pearce Mill at Quechee is

among the top three tourist attractions in the state. It

welcomes 300,000+ visitors each year to its interactive

glassblowing facility, flagship retail store and Zagat-rated

destination restaurant. Hurricane Irene devastated The

Mill. Forced to close on the eve of foliage season, The

Mill was projected to take nine months to restore the

historic building and rebuild the glassblowing facility

from scratch. The Mill’s destruction quickly became the

favorite topic of post-crisis news media coverage.

Re-launch timing was a challenge: The Mill’s projected

reopening was long after Irene was off media radar,

and didn’t coincide with the inevitable August 2012

anniversary spotlight. The re-launch publicity would have

to stand on its own, with no “lift” from other post-Irene

recovery news. Because the glassblowing furnaces had

to be rebuilt from scratch by hand, there was no way to

know if May/June was a realistic projected opening date,

making advance PR risky.

RESULTS: The VPR interview was syndicated throughout

VT in print and online. AP picked up the interview,

garnering widespread online coverage leading up to the

June 2 opening date. The New York Times print exclusive

ran on May 27, and the Boston Globe feature from

writer Steve Jermanok’s sneak peek tour ran on June

3 as the cover story for the debut of the paper’s newly

revamped travel section.

The Weather Channel ran its segment six times, and

other broadcast coverage included key New England

stations WPTZ (NBC affiliate), NECN (New England

Cable News for the Boston area), and WCAX (VT’s state

TV network, also serving NH and northern NY).

Total media coverage just for the two-week period

exceeded 6 million print circulation, 5 million TV

viewership, and 100+ websites. The pre-launch PR

generated a packed house for the June 2 ribbon-cutting

and a syndicated Reuters story reported afterward on the

reopening success.


• Secure short-lead media coverage of the grand opening

in Vermont and key markets of NYC and Boston.

• Secure a national broadcast segment shot at The Mill

the week prior to opening.

• Secure an onsite interview at The Mill for Mr. Simon

Pearce with Vermont Public Radio (VPR), to feed

regional and national media sources.

STRATEGY: The key message was the debut of the fully

restored and reopened Mill, highlighting all the new

features and benefits. While select areas of The Mill were

reopened gradually during the nine-month period, for

maximum PR impact, they chose not to make news

out of these small wins, protecting the power of the announcement

to be made when the final, most important

portion of The Mill reopened in May/June 2012.

In March, two exclusives were secured: the grand

opening announcement in the New York Times and

an in-depth feature about the rebuilding in the Boston

Globe. In early May, once the June 2 opening date was

set and exclusives were not at risk, both VPR and The

Weather Channel were secured for interviews at The

Mill within the two weeks leading up to the opening.

A media alert invited all VT and regional New England

broadcast outlets to tour the facility within the three days

prior to opening.

The key message was the debut of the fully restored and reopened Mill,

highlighting all the new features and benefits.






American Express Loyalty Award

Earning and maintaining loyalty from customers is a fundamental building block of our business. Doing

that successfully means building a strong connection with customers. To identify the campaign that did

that successfully and excelled beyond all others, American Express evaluated entries in the loyalty category

based on the following criteria: clarity and simplicity of the entry; clarity of the outreach and the target

segments of the entry; creativity of the loyalty concept; and sustainability of the loyalty concept beyond

the duration of the advertised campaign.

Client: IHG >Enroll for Rewards, IHG Priority Club Rewards Summer

Mobile Campaign, Crack the Case

Client>IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group)


Enroll for Rewards: Continually add new members to

the Priority Club Rewards (PCR) loyalty program. The

front desk staff is continually educated about the program

and the importance of enrolling new members, making it

a way to keep PCR top of mind.

IHG Priority Club Rewards Summer Mobile Campaign:

Drive sales and participation in the Q2 promotion

during the June-August promotional period. Target and

engage the mobile Priority Club Rewards members and

non-Priority Club Rewards members. Drive mobile web

traffic and app downloads of all PCR mobile application.

Drive “Book Direct” bonus messaging encouraging

booking direct on owned media properties. Target media

efforts to key geographies in U.S., Canada and Latin

America with emphasis in specific key markets. Benchmark

key performance indicators for future mobile campaign

optimizations. Secure press coverage from utilizing

new innovative way of reaching mobile audiences.

Crack the Case: To turn the competitor‘s high value

loyalists into PCR‘s best customers, it needed to drive

them into the deepest level of engagement by putting

them through a “tour of duty.” Desired best customer

behaviors included:

• Increasing spend with IHG

• More weekend leisure stays

• Trial of new brands or hotels.

Paid Media Buy Customized

Offsite Landing

Pages Overview

(To be viewed on mobile at

• Unique landing pages for all 5 mobile media

channels were created to provide an

experience for both Priority Club Rewards

members and individuals that may not be

familiar with the program

• Creative highlights the 1,000 Points or 200

Miles promotion AND the bonus Book Direct



Enroll for Rewards: One of the original goals is for PCR

to remain the largest hotel loyalty program in the world,

which is the case each year. Annually, Enroll for Rewards

increases membership by approximately 5 million new

members. The Asian market has seen double digit increases

above last year’s enrollments due to testing a new

quarterly overlay.

IHG Priority Club Rewards Summer Mobile Campaign:

Registrations for the PCR Summer campaign on mobile

devices accounted for over 95,000 users, or 15% of all

program participation, making it the 2nd largest channel

below email. The custom creative mobile landing pages

effectively communicated the promotional message and

the “book direct” incentive with over 100,000 visits during

the campaign period.

Crack the Case: 56% registered to participate, beating

the average 20% registration rate for a typical hurdle

campaign with similar tasks.

• $155M in revenue from those registered in the Crack

the Case promotion.

• $8.6M purely incremental revenue over and above the

influence of all other IHG promotions.

• 7.3% lift in room-nights resulted in over 83,600

incremental room-nights.

• 94% lift in Saturday stays resulting in over 37,800

incremental Saturdays.

• 20% tried a different brand, 2x more than the


• 15% tried a different hotel, 4x more than the


• 39% completed the survey “lock,” versus the typical

8-18% completion average.

• 58% lift in e-mail opt-ins resulted in over 2,200

incremental guests opting in for emails.

• Current Priority Club Members have the option

to download the iOS app

• Non-Members are encouraged to enroll to take

advantage of the programs exclusive deals and


Confidential 4


American Express honors the

enormous contributions of

marketing professionals to the

travel industry and

congratulates all winners of

the 2012 Adrian Awards.

© 2012 American Express Travel Related

Services Company, Inc.









National Geographic Traveler/HSMAI

Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award

Presented for the third year, this prestigious award recognizes a person, company or community for its

leadership and innovation in preserving and communicating an authentic sense of place through a wisely

managed tourism campaign. Nominees were judged for how their efforts preserve the environmental,

cultural and historic integrity of a destination, and how the program demonstrated leadership, innovation

and accomplished its goals.

PUNTACANA Resort & Club>The Dominican Republic

SITUATION: In 1969, Dominican businessman and hotelier

Frank R. Rainieri and Theodore W. Kheel, a prominent

New York attorney, conceptualized a resort and real

estate community that not only protects the country’s rich

culture and natural habitat of Punta Cana, but that embodies

the essence of their native treasures while offering a

world-class vacation experience.

OBJECTIVES: When the resort was founded, decisions

were made based on common sense, their resources and a

profound respect for the Dominican Republic, its people,

culture and natural resources. They are one of the original

leaders in establishing measureable, meaningful goals in

conservation, and have been doing it consistently ever



• One of its largest projects was taking a leadership role

in community health and education in the nearby

community of Veron, comprised largely of a working

class community holding jobs in the hotels or ancillary

development industries of Punta Cana. Just 15 years ago,

Veron had just over 100 homes. Today, the rapid growth

of jobs and economic opportunity has grown the population

to between 25,000-35,000. The resort reached

out to partners to form a multi-sector agreement to comanage

the Rural Clinic of Veron — the only primary

care health clinic within 50 miles of the Punta Cana

International Airport and the only service accessible to

the poorer communities in the area.

• In 2006, the resort initiated the most ambitious integrated

solid waste management program in the country,

which reduces to an absolute minimum waste sent to

the regional landfill and finds productive use for all

materials through recycling, composting and generation

of energy and fertilizers. The resort built the Punta

Cana recycling facility to segregate, compact and sell all

recyclable materials received in the Punta Cana International

Airport and the resort itself.

• In 2012, the resort launched a biomass project and installed

a boiler to heat the water of the resort’s industrial

laundry facility.

• Their Ecological Foundation was founded in 1994 to

protect and restore the natural resources of the Punta

Cana region and contribute to the sustainable development

of the Dominican Republic. The Center for Sustainability

brings together academic experts to conduct

research and education programs related to the tourism

industry and design and implement solutions to the

environmental challenges the region faces. Among the

foundation’s ventures are:

• Initiatives are communicated through media coverage

and voluntourisum packages, and along with Columbia

University and the New York Times Foundation

a yearly “New York Times Foundation Institute on

Environment,” which brings journalists together with

researchers and scientists to learn about the world’s

most pressing environmental concerns.

• They bring together international leaders for the

“Biodiversity Conservation in Agriculture Symposium,”

and also sponsored the First Caribbean Conference

on Sustainable Tourism.


• When the resort first became involved in the Rural

Clinic of Veron, it was shut down. Now it receives

80-100 patients a day (over 35,000 to date). The clinic

has participated in the “Clinton Global Initiative” and

has also been involved in promoting preventative best

practices in hygiene and health in the community. Over

the past few years, the partnership has provided financial

and in-kind resources valued at approximately $200,000

to improve conditions at the clinic, providing a vastly

increased quality of medical care to the underserved

residents of Veron.

• Thanks to the solid waste management initiative of the

Ecological Foundation, the average monthly cost of

waste hauling has been reduced from $17,000 for all of

the resort to $4,000.

• PUNTACANA Resort & Club made an initial investment

of over $2.5 million into the biomass project, and

the resort’s current savings on fuel is 65%.

• For their solid waste management program, the Foundation

has held several national conferences on waste

management in the Dominican

Republic, two in

Punta Cana and one in the

capital of Santo Domingo.

• The resort was also the

first hotel in the region to

construct a water treatment

facility when it was introduced

in 1992.

• Through outreach to the

community that surrounds

the resort, the Foundation is

able to teach these practices

to the people in the area,

ultimately affecting the lives

of those who live and work

on the property as well

as those who live in the


Photo credit: PUNTACANA Resort & Club.


National Geographic Traveler

congratulates the winners of the


We salute your commitment to sustainable tourism—a commitment that we share, support, and communicate

every day through our magazine, books, website, geotourism maps, apps, and other resources. Like each of you,

we know that preservation and conservation are vital to making sure amazing places endure and flourish

for generations of travelers yet to come.

We are pleased to have worked with HSMAI on this distinctive award and

thank all of the entrants for their participation this past year.








The World is Your Oyster Award, “the Hotel Tell-All,” prides itself on showing travelers the full picture. Created to provide a resource

for travelers to know what they’re getting when they book a hotel and to take the guesswork out of

hotel research, its mission is to deliver unbiased, expert information about hotels and make it easy to discover

the perfect destination. With that, the debut “World is your Oyster” award recognizes the marketing

program that best utilizes rich media to inspire travelers with authentic depictions of their unique beauty,

personality, style or culture. Entrants were judged on the visual representation communicated through the

marketing programs.

Homewood Suites>‘Be at Home’ Campaign

SITUATION: Extended stay, residential-style hotels were

created to meet the needs of business travelers working

on the road for longer periods of time. As more of these

hotels entered the market, they became undifferentiated

in offerings and style. Homewood Suites saw this as an

opportunity to distinguish the brand through a higher

level of amenities and a positioning of doing everything

possible to help guests to “Be at Home” while on the


While the competition talked only about comfort and

productivity, Homewood Suites went further to understand

the needs of the longer-term traveler who wants

the convenience and familiarity of home. Those needs

were met with extra amenities, including fully stocked

kitchens with full-sized refrigerators, breakfast served

daily, free dinner and drinks almost every weeknight and

free Internet access.

OBJECTIVES: Building off of positive 2011 market

share gains, the campaign looked to generate greater

awareness of the Homewood Suites product offering

and drive bookings and revenue. With demand for hotel

rooms increasing and supply remaining flat, the opportunity

was to show the value associated with staying at an

upscale all-suite hotel where meals and recreation are just

part of what’s included free. Accomplishing that would

mean bringing life to their unique culture, personalized

service and differentiating amenities in an emotionally

compelling, but human and relatable way.

STRATEGY: Traveling for business usually takes people

away from what matters most to them — home. That

emotion is captured in the first line of the TV spot: “This

is not my home. There, I said it.” There’s no replacement

for home, but Homewood Suites believes that all the

little things they provide add up to a real difference. The

“Be at Home” campaign highlighted this deeper understanding

of longer-term travelers and presented a unique

value proposition in an interesting and engaging way.

TATICS: Based on the insight gained from research,

three campaigns were presented to focus groups of loyal

guests to understand how those business and leisure

travelers perceive Homewood Suites and interact with

the brand. Feedback on the creative revealed that the Be

at Home TV campaign aligned most with their Homewood

experience and reinforces the reasons they choose


Homewood Suites was positioned as the hotel where

you feel as comfortable and as much at home as possible

while on the road, with that showcased in the media

executions: full-sized fridge, sports court, pool, workout

room, free breakfast, dinner, drinks and extra space.

Guests are seen in real-life moments, enjoying what the

hotel provides, from relaxed

to fun to thoughtful


to invigorating. The campaign

end line sums it up:

“We think life on the road

should be more about life

and less about the road.” Home

The media buy was

also leveraged to include

integrated content: Food with Homewood Suites

Network vignette and

ESPN mini-mercial.

RESULTS: The TV, print

and digital campaign ran

from March to August

2012. Revenue per

Available Suite (RevPAS)

increased nearly 7% from

2011 due to both occupancy

and rate. Customer

Satisfaction (SALT) levels

remains near 70% favorable

(top 2 positive indicators

on scale from 1-10).

Extended stay occupancy

is nearly 50% of total

occupied rooms. Market

share as measured by STR

has grown from 123 (2011

year end) to 126 (through

July 2012). Hall & Partners

research showed a lift

in aided/unaided brand

awareness from 19% in Q2

2011 to 24% in Q2 2012.


Easy Asian Pork Chops


by Hilton

At Homewood Suites by Hilton, guests

can be at home. With a fully equipped

kitchen and a full-size fridge, you don’t

have to put your regular diet on hold

just because you are on the road.

Homewood will even do your grocery

shopping. So what are you waiting for?

Plan your next trip and get cooking!

1 lb. thin, boneless pork chops

2 tsp. olive oil

½ cup chicken broth

½ cup sesame ginger salad dressing

¼ cup teriyaki sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

In large skillet, heat oil on medium.

Salt and pepper both sides of pork chops

and cook in oil for 3 to 4 minutes per side

(or until golden). Remove chops from

skillet. Add chicken broth, salad dressing

and teriyaki sauce to skillet. Mix well.

Place pork chops back in the skillet and

cook each side for about 2½ minutes.

Remove pork chops from skillet and serve

immediately. Discard liquid.




We learned this the hard way.

Our solution?—

The Hotel Tell-All.

Our team of hotel investigators visits,

rates, reviews and photographs every

hotel on Oyster. Our expert reviews

cover every aspect of your hotel—your

uniqueness, your fine dining, your

fitness center, your minibar, etc.

10 million of your potential customers

check out hotels on Oyster because they

trust our expertise to research and find

the perfect hotel.

We’re a part of the Scripps Network –

home to the largest lifestyle brands in

the US: Travel Channel, Food Network

and HGTV.

Oyster‘s readers will spend $4 billion

on hotels in 2013.

Is your hotel on Oyster? It’s simple. If

you’re not on Oyster when they are,

you’re missing out.


ON WITH YOUR EXPANSION PLANS. salutes all the winners of the 2012 Adrian Awards and

the “World is Your Oyster” Award









TravelClick ® eMarketer of the Year

For 12 years, TravelClick has honored excellence in hospitality digital marketing with its eMarketer of the Year

Award. Recognizing the hotel that best demonstrates success in attracting and converting guests through

the web, contenders are evaluated on the strength of their web presence and booking performance driven

by world-class online marketing, including website design, search marketing, mobile marketing, emerging

channels and community development through social marketing. Applicants provide detailed data on their

emarketing strategies and campaigns, which are judged by an independent panel of digital marketing and

ecommerce experts.

Best Western International

SITUATION: To support its newly rebranded properties


and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® — Best Western

International (BWI) integrated multiple digital

marketing platforms, launched a number of social,

mobile and online initiatives and also completely

re-launched its website and mobile site to drive

booking and brand engagement.


• Grow brand awareness and guest loyalty through

social media.

• Reach and convert consumers through a creative

combination of web, mobile, social and email marketing.

• Increase web traffic to grow direct web bookings.

• Drive incremental revenue by appealing to deal-seeking

guests with creative promotions.

STRATEGY: Best Western International (BWI) used

all the latest channels and technologies to transform

consumers into brand evangelists, and engagement

into bookings.

• They enhanced their customers’ booking experience

through a complete design and functionality refresh

of their website and mobile site which streamlined

booking steps incorporating reviews and trip planning

tools, plus a convenient way to manage Best Western

Rewards® accounts.

• BWI was the first major international chain to

allow travelers to book hotel rooms directly from

its Facebook page.

• They updated search marketing strategies to include

keyword brand terms with top destination markets

and used a combination of video and paid advertising

to educate consumers on the three brand types.

• The “Be a Travel Hero” campaign turned road

warriors into travel heroes. A custom Facebook

app let users select their ideal vacation destination

and invite Facebook friends to come along for a

chance to win their dream trip and other prizes.


• BWI was the first major international chain to enable

travelers to book hotel rooms directly from its Facebook

page, producing an increase in reservations in the first

few months, and it continues to drive nearly 10,000

unique visitors to monthly. They

were also the first in their hotel category to reach

500,000 followers on Facebook.

• Best Western’s “Be a Travel Hero” campaign generated

a 20 percent increase in reservations revenue over the

previous year’s promotion, and more than 400 million

impressions in media shares and PR mentions.

• As a result of its integrated, digital marketing efforts,

BWI made it easy for guests to become brand

evangelists and to find and book reservations on a

myriad of online and social channels. Not only did

they utilize best ecommerce practices, but they took

an opportunistic approach to social media promotions

and other digital media campaigns, which has resulted

in significant growth of their overall online bookings.


Revenue-Generating Solutions

For Hoteliers Across The Globe

TravelClick provides expert solutions

for hotels to optimize performance,

grow revenue, and create a stronger brand.

Our five lines of business work together to improve your performance.












Contact an industry expert today to find out how TravelClick can help you

increase bookings, revenues, and profits.

1 212 817 4800 | |

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