This July, Hilton rolled out a new global brand platform—“Hilton. For the Stay.”—stressing the importance of the hotel stay in the overall travel experience, as confirmed through consumer research conducted by Hilton and its agency, TBWAChiatDay New York. The accompanying advertising campaign—“It Matters Where You Stay.”—extends across numerous channels and features businesswoman and philanthropist Paris Hilton and actor Catherine O’Hara.
LODGING connected with Joelle Park, vice president, global enterprise, and cross brand marketing at Hilton, to discuss the research behind the platform, the reception of the campaign thus far, and the outlook for next year.
What kind of consumer research was conducted? What were the results?
In early 2022, we conducted global qualitative and quantitative research, ranging from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and China, to understand changing travel needs across the globe, and the fresh, new ways we could market Hilton that resonate in each region. Through this research, two things became clear. Firstly, we’re in a moment where our needs and motivations around travel are being re-examined on a global scale as our priorities in life shift. And secondly, customers told us it’s fine to showcase some of the challenges of life and travel in our marketing because that’s reality. And the moment they arrive at the hotel truly is a turning point in the journey where they can finally relax and enjoy their stay and what they traveled for. We learned that the more we lean into the Hilton stay, the more we resonate with our guests and can deliver what really matters to them when they travel.
How did TBWA’s methodology help to develop the brand platform?
Our partner TBWAChiatDay New York has a Disruption methodology that drives its strategic and creative thinking. It created an ownable white space for Hilton, allowing us to lean into our latent strengths and tell our story in a fresh, new way. The key to Disruption, according to TBWA, is identifying the category conventions to move deliberately away from ways of marketing and messaging that create a “sea of sameness” for consumers that is ripe to be broken. As we looked at the hospitality and travel market, it was very clear that “the transformative power of travel” and an overwhelming focus on the destination were strong industry conventions, amidst which hotels had lost their place in the narrative. It was time to refocus clearly on our core strength that we tangibly offer to our guests: The Stay.
How has the advertising campaign been received thus far?
So far, the campaign has been well received by the public, especially judging by the great social media engagement we’re seeing. We look forward to continuing this momentum across various channels and executions as we expand into other markets. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to double down on the importance of the guest experience and their stay because we know all our guests, whether they are with us for leisure or business, care about The Stay. We’re also proud that our team members are excited about the campaign because they are truly at the heart of a great stay.
Do you expect new commercials to be developed next year?
The new marketing platform and campaign rolled out in the United States in July 2022 across television, audio, social media, print, and out of home, spanning 13 commercials and bespoke social executions, and we plan to roll out regional creative, and more new spots here in the United States later this year and into 2023. Our global platform has been designed to appeal to all demographics and will be tailored to ensure relevance in each region where it is running, consistently highlighting how a Hilton stay makes every guest feel truly cared for.