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Olga Kurylenko Featured in New “The Stories Begin Here” Campaign for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

November 7, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts today unveils its new global advertising campaign, “The Stories Begin Here,” featuring international actress Olga Kurylenko.

The groundbreaking campaign concept is a creative collaboration between the actress, fashion photographer Bruno Dayan and British author Simon Van Booy, who was commissioned to write a short story which would inspire the photo shoot.

In the campaign, Kurylenko plays a character named Alexandra, created exclusively for her by Van Booy as a young, successful and well-traveled couturier, spending time experiencing unforgettable moments at a Waldorf Astoria hotel. The story, entitled “The Escape Artist,” takes readers on a journey through the eyes of Alexandra as she encounters the many inspirational environments and bespoke service a Waldorf Astoria offers.

“This is a truly innovative marketing and communications plan for this legendary brand, and a first in the luxury hospitality industry. We have brought together a writer, an actor and a photographer – three creative minds – to develop an integrated multi-platform campaign that embodies the Waldorf Astoria guest experience,” said H. Stuart Foster, vice president of marketing, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide. “This campaign brings to life, through still and video assets across print, digital and social channels, the kind of unforgettable experiences awaiting each of our guests at 24 inspiring destinations around the world. It has been very exciting to partner with the talented Ms. Kurylenko, world-renowned photographer Mr. Dayan and the accomplished writer Mr. Van Booy who have partnered with us to create an incredibly unique and unforgettable campaign.”

The integrated marketing and communications campaign illustrates Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts’ unique positioning as the luxury portfolio of hotels that create exceptional experiences that become extraordinary memories for our guests, each providing the personalized attention that is the source of unforgettable moments that add up to an extraordinary experience that could only happen at a Waldorf Astoria.

Shot on location at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, the digital and print execution exemplify caught moments – “vignettes” – from the bespoke tale: Alexandra’s arrival and chance encounter in the lobby; her moment of inspiration en suite; and a relaxing moment in the hotel’s spa.

The campaign, which includes a multi-million dollar media plan, spans U.S., U.K., United Arab Emirates and Chinese media outlets. The bespoke story comes to life for global luxury consumers on a dedicated parallax website – – with behind-the-scenes video and interactive content. An engaging social media contest and Facebook tab introduces the campaign to fans of the Waldorf Astoria brand and reinforces the brand’s commitment to interacting with discerning luxury travelers.

Chosen for her international appeal and sophisticated elegance, Olga Kurylenko is delighted to be affiliated with the brand. “From the moment Waldorf Astoria approached me with this project, I was intrigued. Having worked with Bruno before, I knew he would bring his keen eye and talent to create beautiful imagery. I was flattered that Simon wrote the role of Alexandra expressly for me. Bringing his character to life in this campaign was truly an unforgettable experience,” said Kurylenko. “For someone who constantly travels for work, hotels play a very important role in my own life. For me, Waldorf Astoria hotels exemplify luxury because each are not only iconic landmarks but they deliver truly genuine and personalized service. At each Waldorf Astoria I visit, my Personal Concierge always ensures I have an exceptional experience at the hotel. I truly never want to leave.”

The three artists ideated and developed the campaign as a unified team on set, bringing a real narrative aspect to the campaign:

  • Olga Kurylenko, is a Ukrainian-born actress. She lives in London and works the world over. In 2008, Olga shot to international fame as “Camille” co-starring opposite Daniel Craig in “Quantum of Solace.” Most recently, Olga Kurylenko starred as “Julia” in “Oblivion” opposite Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. She is currently filming the female lead opposite Russell Crowe in “The Water Diviner.”
  • Based between Paris and New York City, photographer Bruno Dayan has shot for leading fashion brands and publications around the globe including Celine, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Numéro, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Simon van Booy’s work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Daily TelegraphThe Times, and The Guardian. English born but based in Brooklyn, NY, he is the author of works such as Love Begins in Winter, winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and The Illusion of Separateness, his latest work.

The next chapter of the campaign will continue to tell Alexandra’s story, and is scheduled to be produced in early 2015 at another iconic Waldorf Astoria property. For more information about Waldorf Astoria’s “The Stories Begin Here” campaign, please

Olga Kurylenko has been commissioned by Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts for her endorsement and participation in the global advertising campaign, “The Stories Begin Here”.

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