In the midst of a public health crisis, the wedding season was effectively cut off. Children are in no hurry to hug their grandparents and family vacations have decreased dramatically. The emotional milestones of the travel experience have almost disappeared.
Hilton tries to rekindle that spark.
In the brand’s new global campaign entitled “To New Memories”, the gently shot and deeply undisputed spots move on the tightrope that all travel brands had to cover during the pandemic, encouraging booking, but only when the traveler is ready . It is similar to the US Travel Association’s “Let’s Go There” campaign that ran in September. Not too pushy, but heavy at heart.
“It’s time for the emotional to re-enter, it’s time for the heart and reconnection with the reason we travel,” said Mark Weinstein, who was promoted to SVP and global director of marketing and loyalty for Hilton in July and replacing former CMO Kellyn, Smith Kenny, who left in June. “We have a year worth [being] cooped up, weddings postponed, [not] Seeing grandchildren – the campaign builds on that. “
To be clear, the campaign is based on the idea of these emotional milestones and does not encourage the wedding or an immediate flight to visit Grandma.
The pandemic was brutal for the hotel industry as Hilton lost $ 432 million in the second quarter. Then the utilization at RevPAR was around 40% [revenue per available room] down 81% yoy. This week, US occupancy was a little less than 48%, which is still a decrease of around 29% from 2019. “Week after week we are heading in the right direction; Every week is increasingly stronger than the previous one, “said Weinstein.
Weinstein emphasized that for now this is more of a new brand platform than a campaign. Instead of pursuing the low-hanging fruit (with an emphasis on lower prices, regionally tailored creative), Hilton is taking the more esoteric route, emphasizes the brand, the juicy moments in the family that were missed in the shelter and a spot for the contactless digital key of the Brand.
Last year, the Hilton “Expect Better” campaign with Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick ran almost to the first outbreak of the pandemic. It’s still unclear whether Hilton will invest as heavily in this campaign as it did at Kendrick’s, which highlighted the benefits of the brand’s loyalty program and why travelers should book direct. “Any marketer would be lying if they told you they could pick the channel plan for the rest of the year,” Weinstein said.
So far, the campaign will run on Today, Good Morning America, TNT, FX and appear worldwide in China, Great Britain, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
A 10-year veteran of the brand, Weinstein was previously the global director of customer loyalty, loyalty and partnerships for Hilton. Now, Hilton said it was not looking for another CMO as both marketing and loyalty are Weinstein’s responsibility. He said he doesn’t expect much to change as both teams are already closely linked. For these loyalty members, Hilton has extended tier status to 2022 and will not expire for unused points. Those who don’t book directly with Hilton will still have access to the brand’s digital key when they download the Honors app.
“Traveling is a deeply personal moment at the moment. We’re looking for those who raise their hands, ”said Weinstein. “The passion is there – if you’re ready to travel, so are we.”