Making an emotional connection to customers is the new trend in hotel advertising, and it's very evident in Sheraton Hotels' new $20-million TV campaign that debuted last month. The campaign, titled “Greetings,” celebrates the positive emotional response people feel when they recognized and greeted — as in a hotel with high standards of service. Created by Deutsch, Inc., the 15- and 30-second spots feature people from around the world greeting each other with hugs, kisses, toasts, handshakes and high fives. The tagline links the message to Sheraton: “The greetings are different, the need to feel welcome is the same. You don't just stay here — You belong.”

The campaign supports Sheraton's recently introduced Warm Welcome arrival initiative that's designed to make guests feel like they belong as soon as they enter a Sheraton hotel. The process starts with Sheraton Ambassadors who greets guests on arrival. A signature lobby scent, Welcoming Warmth (a mix of fig, bergamot, jasmine and freesia), aims to help settle and relax guests.

At check-in, guests receive a free 10-minute phone card and a postpaid postcard to allow them to keep in touch with friends and family. The phone cards and postcards, also created by Deutsch, carry the theme of the ad campaign and remind guests that “away doesn't have to feel so far away.”

The ad campaign is featured on CBS and NBC and a variety of cable networks, including A&E, ESPN, HGTV and E Entertainment. Sheraton began to roll out the Warm Welcome program to properties last month.

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