Bartle Bogle Hegarty Creates Wellness for Starwood’s Westin Hotels

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At $30 million in spare change Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide’ Westin brand hired advertising heavyweights Bartle Bogle Hegarty (B.B.H.) to redefine traditional hotel advertising with the innovative, “For a Better You” campaign.

This marks the Westin brand’s first new ad campaign to debut in more than five years.

As we mentioned previously, in Hidden Impact of Display Advertising: Starwood Hotels, Starwood invests a lot of money into their display advertising initiatives in order to secure conversions and continue to maintain customer loyalty. They are well-known for paying immense attention to detail and expect the same from their partners/agencies.

B.B.H., on the other hand, as some of you Pink Blog readers might remember, is the advertising agency behind my favourite “Keep Walking” adverts for Johnnie Walker. They have won numerous awards, and is a favourite for Don Draper to name drop in Mad Men.

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Together, the twosome teamed up to create a new campaign around numbers which are meant to represent innumerable reasons for staying at the Westin properties.

According to Starwood:-

  • The Heavenly Bed execution portrays a moment of luxurious bliss while underscoring the benefits of the Westin brand’s renowned sleep experience – “A good night’s sleep is proven to reduce stress, improve focus, and bolster memory.”
  • The campaign’s resort execution emphasizes the virtues of vacations in a witty and fashionable way. A glamorous bathing-suit clad woman is standing in a stylized pool of water with an umbrella and the ad copy reads “Regular exposure to sunshine is the best natural source of vitamin D. That’s why our resorts lie on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. For a better you.” The creative evokes the enjoyment of a Westin resort experience, yet a second glance reveals a secondary image – that of a large tropical drink, where towels form a lemon, a beach ball replicates a cherry, and an umbrella mimics the type found in a tropical drink
  • The Westin brands signature SuperfoodsRx menu and WestinWORKOUT programs are also featured in the campaign.

For example, No.15 is the relaxing “Westin Weekend” package, while No.12 is the Westin’s “Heavenly Bed.” Other numbers of note, are No. 37 for personal instruction at golf resorts, No.16 which is the ultra-wellness “SuperFoods Rx” menu and No. 44 about “Driving Home.”

The campaign, which got under way at the beginning of May, includes print, digital, outdoor advertising and no television spots.

Herald Square area in New York City

Recently, I was walking through Herald Square in New York City and I spotted the No.8 advert, ” The Element of Being,” in the sky, about Vitamin D and the ample amount of sunlight at Westin resorts.

Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin at Starwood in White Plains, said that,

“We challenged B.B.H. to get off the beaten path, not show the typical property shots, as people get out and travel more, we can help them understand the positioning of the brand and the brand promise, which is that we help our guests feel better when they leave than when they arrived.”

This is, in fact part of the Westin’s approach to “general wellness,” and has been a part of their advertising since the introduction of the “Heavenly” bed.

Interestingly enough, since then, the Westin has introduced an entire line of “Heavenly” products from bathrooms, to cribs to dog beds, even.

However, there are currently only 25 “Heavenly” spas in Westin resorts across the 178 properties Starwood runs globally.

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Povinelli went on to say,

“Westin’s entire brand positioning stems from our mission of helping our guests better themselves.

The campaign is designed to illustrate how we do this in ways that our competition doesn’t and to reinforce the premium experience Westin delivers.

We believe our understanding of our guest’s needs is more sophisticated than other brands and wanted a marketing message that reflected that sophistication and at the same time conveyed lightheartedness.”

And B.B.H. would agree,

“The campaign was designed to alter the conversation that the brand is having with people,” said Greg Andersen, CEO, BBH NY.

“We have changed the nature of hotel advertising for Westin because Westin isn’t just another hotel.

Everything they do is highly considered in order to create a better stay.”

What I love about this campaign is the imagery created by French fashion photographer, Grégoire Alexandre, whose creativity is meant to suggest the Westin elements of well-being.

It’s artistic and a little goes a long way with these.

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For example, No.12, the Heavenly bed, is illustrated with a photo of a woman asleep on a cloud of balloons shaped like a bed.

It’s simple, yet strong.

A sentiment Andersen echos,

“What we’ve tried to do with this campaign is create more of a sense of the Westin experience,” he said, “instead of providing a list of the Westin amenities.”

Something I found very curious about this campaign is it’s target audience.

“For a Better You” is aimed at a sub-genre, inside the typical affluent individuals, couples and families that visit the Westin.

It’s specifically targeting those within the group who already lead a healthy lifestyle and are looking for a place to stay where they can continue that  — for a night or for a week.

Andersen labeled this “more of a psychographic” group, rather than a true demographic.

  • Have you seen the new Westin adverts anywhere?
  • What do you think of this campaign?
  • Are sub-genres within a target demographic just as important as the primary demographic or not? And if so, do you think it will have a high ROI, or one decent enough to prove it’s worth?
  • What are some digital elements you’d like to see incorporated into this? Or that should be leveraged given the base-marks provided by B.B.H.

“For a Better You” print adverts are set to run in both American and Canadian magazines and newspapers including Condé Nast Traveler, Maclean’s, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

The online ads are to appear on Web sites like concierge.com, epicurious.com, nytimes.com, oprah.com and self.com.

Advertising Statistics:

  • Advertising Agency: BBH, New York, USA
  • Creative Director: Jon Pearce
  • Art Directors: Maja Fernqvist, Joakim Saul, John Tymkiw
  • Art Producer: Miranda Kendrick
  • Account Director: Jimmy Euwer
  • Account Manager: Katie Gannet
  • Photographer: Gregoire Alexandre

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Sasha H. Muradali runs the Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR). She holds a B.S. Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. International Administration with a concentration in Communication from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter (@SashaHalima), Harry Potter and the colour pink. Get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and find us on Facebook.

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