CHAIN AD CAMPAIGNS TEST LIMITS

Three hotel chains — Residence Inn, Westin and Hilton Garden Inn — recently unveiled new ad campaigns that each company hopes can break through the clutter of sameness found in most travel industry marketing efforts. Here's a look at the programs:

Residence Inn.

Marriott marketers trekked all the way to Prague, Czech Republic to film four new 15- and 30-second TV spots for the extended-stay chain. Targeting what Residence calls “endurance travelers,” the ads use theatricality to show guests how to master, not just survive, a long trip. The spots also showcase the brand's new design and amenities.

In one spot showcasing Residence's in-room grocery service, a performer flips upside down, lands on the kitchen counter and balances an apple on her toe. In other versions, a trapeze artist glides across the chain's newly designed rooms; a plate spinner twirls four plates to highlight the full kitchen in each unit; and a fire breather/juggler performs at an outdoor fire pit found at new-look Residence properties.

Matthias Zentner of Foreign Films Productions directed the spots for Residence Inns' New York agency, mcgarrybowen. In addition to TV spots, mostly on cable outlets, the campaign has print and online versions.

Westin

Befitting a Starwood brand, Westin's new $30-million campaign is decidedly non-traditional. Using such experimental mediums as 3-D, Bluetooth billboards and ads that appear to move on walls, the campaign hopes to convey to consumers that Westin Hotels are “places of renewal.”

While the campaign focuses on major cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta, its focal point is Grand Central Station in New York, where the Westin ads envelop the station and some subway trains.

Deutsch New York created the campaign, which was implemented by MediaVest. In addition to the train station media, the campaign also includes more-traditional print, radio and online components.

Hilton Garden Inn.

“Tomorrow's a Big Day” is the tagline for the chain's new campaign, which launched in June and will continue through the rest of the year, mostly in print and online versions.

Photos in the ads spotlight people — Hilton Garden's guests — rather than amenities to show that the chain knows its customers, what motivates them and how the chain helps them work smart, stay fit, eat well and achieve a “sleep deep” experience.

In addition to the print and web versions, the company produced several 15-second videos for online alternative broadcast. California-based DGWB and Swofford & Company Advertising created the campaign.

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