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Grand Hyatt Hotels calls on Josh Groban to helm holiday campaign

For this year?s holiday campaign, Grand Hyatt Hotels has called on none other than advertising?s favorite lyric baritone, Josh Groban, for a traditional effort hosted on non-traditional media.

Mr. Groban?s entry into Grand Hyatt?s Go Grand for the Holidays campaign coincides with the release of his new single, ?Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.? It began with what Hyatt is calling an ?extraordinary caroling experience? at the Grand Hyatt New York, and will culminate in the release of a new campaign spot on YouTube in the coming days.

"It's true that convenience and value drive many hotel reservations, and this is only increasing as online travel agencies take a larger and larger percentage of bookings," said James McNally, director of digital strategy at TDT, New York. "However, while mass-market hotels are incredibly commoditized, they do still have brand identities, and brand identity is essential to maintain around flagship properties like the Grand Hyatt New York. 

"Still, no amount of Josh Groban is going to stop the slide into commoditized hotel room buying - especially when you're considering non-marquee locations of generic chain hotels."

Go Grand
Mr. Groban?s ?serendipitous caroling extravaganza? was held at New York?s Grand Hyatt hotel on December 5, and also rang in the occasion of a donation to his Find Your Light Foundation?an arts education initiative?from Hyatt.

The bonhomie that night was recorded and will be released in the form of a music video called ?A Grand Carol,? which will be debut on December 15 on Hyatt?s YouTube channel. The music video?s premiere is just one of numerous holiday spots which were rolled out initially on digital platforms such as YouTube, including Macy?s ?Yes, Virginia? animated special which debuted on December 9 (see story). 

The Grand Hyatt is also investing in numerous out-of-home installations this holiday season, extending the reach of Go Grand for the Holidays beyond national borders with local events. From a performance by a children?s ballet at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong to an outdoor ice skating rink where guests and locals can skate under twinkling holiday lights at Grand Hyatt Seoul, the hospitality giant is putting all of its chips into leveraging the geniality of the holidays.

Users are also invited to participate in the conversation by hashtagging #GoGrand and tagging @GrandHyatt on Facebook and Instagram.

?Our guests at Grand Hyatt come from all over the globe, and there?s no artist better suited to bring the holiday spirit to them than Josh Groban," said Samie Barr, vice president of global brands for Hyatt. "Josh has achieved global success, and his list of albums and accolades include several memorable holiday performances and collaborations. 

"Having him surprise our guests with his iconic voice is just another way that Grand Hyatt is helping guests to celebrate all the best that life has to offer during the most magical time of the year.?

Holiday marketing
Out-of-home demonstrations are particularly popular during the holiday season, especially in retail and hospitality contexts. Google?s ?Window Wonderland? is recreating the feeling of strolling outside iconic retailers on a consumers? desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet on behalf of numerous New York retailers, including Louis Vuitton and Cartier (see story). 

And Samsung, already occupied with an ongoing Internet of Things out-of-home installation in Philadelphia, is now juggling a VR installation in New York's Herald Square as a part of its "Gift of Galaxy" holiday campaign (see story).

"Mobile will become the primary booking channel in the near future, so it's a competitive space," Mr. McNally said. "The online travel agencies present a real threat to the hotel brands in terms of mobile technology and mobile marketing, but it's an open question whether hotel brands can in fact be competitive in this space. 

"The overall marketing budgets of even large hotel chains are typically dwarfed by the ad budgets of the big online travel agencies. Worth noting that promotions like Hyatt's A Grand Carol do essentially nothing for mobile marketing, and instead are a brand awareness play aimed at telling customers, 'we are a happening place with mainstream New York Holiday entertainment featuring entertainers who's name you recognize.'"