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Waldorf Astoria Takes on New Luxury Marketing Approach with Breakthrough Campaign

June 19, 2018 Luxury Hotels No Comments Email Email

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, the iconic luxury brand of Hilton (NYSE: HLT) portfolio, today announced the debut of the ‘Live Unforgettable’ campaign – a bold repositioning of the brand to highlight Waldorf Astoria’s unique experience and deepen connections with today’s luxury travelers. Backed by extensive consumer insights, the campaign pairs the brand’s legacy with an unexpected, playful take on True Waldorf Service.

“The majority of luxury campaigns in hospitality look the same; however, luxury consumer preferences continue to change,” said Kellyn Smith Kenny, chief marketing officer, Hilton. “Knowing that the luxury landscape and the needs of our customers are evolving to be more experience-driven, we have created a campaign that is fresh, digitally-led and grounded in a deep understanding of rising consumer expectations.”

Luxury Consumers Today

In analyzing luxury travel today, Waldorf Astoria identified an increasing number of consumers who seek the ever-elusive sense of place to be present. Millennials, Generation X and the growing affluent female market are also significantly reshaping the luxury landscape. As the world becomes increasingly preoccupied with the latest technologies and the lines between professional and personal success continue to blur, living in the moment feels more unattainable than ever. Insights indicated that those who seek this sense of place want the classic luxury of iconic hotels – with a modern flare – to create unforgettable experiences and live their lives to the fullest.

Live Unforgettable: The Story

‘Live Unforgettable’ is the alchemy of Waldorf Astoria’s True Waldorf Service, iconic environments and its guests’ desire to live in the moment. When these three elements come together at a Waldorf Astoria, every moment from the routine to the grand can be transformed into the unforgettable. The new campaign cleverly combines what is true to the brand’s heritage, True Waldorf Service, while recognizing what resonates with the next generation of consumers who are reshaping luxury.

“It is our relentless commitment to personal service that becomes the foundation for truly unforgettable experiences for our guests,” said Martin Rinck, global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “True Waldorf Service is at the heart of all Waldorf Astoria locations around the world.”

The campaign creative blends the timeless with the timely, the humorous with the bold, and the expected with the unexpected, underscoring Waldorf Astoria’s commitment to truly anticipatory service, with a twist.

Set in the inspirational environment of Waldorf Astoria Versailles, Trianon Palace, the campaign’s storylines are a playful take on the brand’s relentless commitment to delivering True Waldorf Service – no matter how unique the request – which in turn allows guests to enjoy unforgettable experiences.

The campaign centers around three storylines, including:

  • Game Day – The desire for a ‘smash game’ starts with a guest calling his Personal Concierge and ends with an exuberant game of ping-pong among family and friends. Little does the Personal Concierge know, the young daughter is an all-star player.
  • Spa for Two – A woman requests a spa service from her Personal Concierge for her and her Highland Terrier. Much to her delight, the spa has arranged a “service for two”…for her and her adorable pup.
  • Sundae Surprise – A young couple orders every sundae on the room service menu and, without hesitation, the Personal Concierge fills the suite with every sundae imaginable.

The campaign was photographed by Ward Ivan Rafik and directed by Columbine Goldsmith – two well-known artists in the fashion industry who have worked top luxury fashion brands – and will be told primarily through digital content that leverages both demographic and behavioral targeting to reach today’s luxury traveler.

Research to Reality

The ‘Live Unforgettable’ campaign is grounded in Waldorf Astoria’s True Waldorf Service. And, while the preferences of today’s luxury travelers continue to evolve, service continues to be at the core of all travel experiences.

A recent global study of luxury travelers conducted by Hilton highlights a surprising reliance on concierges, with nearly one-third of those who traveled for leisure reporting they plan little to none of their trip prior to their arrival, and an additional 47 percent reporting they leave some details of their trip unplanned until they arrive at their hotel.

Additionally, while the world becomes increasingly digital, in-person interactions are still important at luxury hotels. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they preferred to interact with an in-person concierge throughout their stay, while only 20 percent cited preferring to use a digital-only concierge.

It’s not just access to service that matters to today’s luxury travelers – quality service makes a difference. In fact, the survey notes that guests who received high-service* were more likely to return to a previously visited luxury hotel four or more times. The same group noted staff and service as a top reason why they return to a hotel.

*high-service is defined as personal concierge, orientation of hotel upon arrival, baggage assistance, warm welcome and anticipatory service throughout the stay.

Hilton partnered with a third-party research firm, Survata, to survey nearly 1,500 luxury consumers over the age of 25 in eight countries.

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