- DoubleTree by Hilton is rolling out a new campaign today built around the hotel's signature "warm cookie welcome," complete with digital and out-of-home efforts and a social media contest to encourage a more welcoming world, according to a press release made available to Marketing Dive.
- To jumpstart the effort, the hotel brand and The Martin Agency are launching #SweetWelcome to document the company's OOH activations and let audiences follow the campaign activities and partnerships online, which include a celebration after a naturalization ceremony in Boston, as well as a competition among military chefs and a cookie-themed charity bicycle race.
- Using #SweetWelcome on Instagram or Twitter, users can share photos of themselves making the world a more welcoming place. Four winners of this contest will win two free nights in one of DoubleTree's more than 500 locations, and a grand prize winner will get a week-long vacation.
For DoubleTree, chocolate chip cookies have embodied hospitality for years, as the chain welcomes guests with them at check-in and sends off guests with the treats at check-out. Now, the hotel chain is integrating this service into a broader message about being welcoming and integrating it in OOH activations and on social media to connect with potential new customers.
Like recent campaigns from several other brands, DoubleTree's latest tries to embody a positive attitude with its theme of inspiring others to make the world a more welcoming place. A May 2017 study from 4A's found that 67% of agency professionals believe changing values are causing brands to become more interested in corporate responsibility and values-based marketing. Though consumers can respond well to such marketing, the strategy is not a guaranteed win, as Pepsi found out earlier this year with an ad featuring Kendall Jenner.
Campaigns with a positive message must be carefully thought out and strategically executed so that they come across as authentic and not insincere. For example, DoubleTree is clearly trying to instill authenticity in its campaign by building it around a signature service that represents the brand's values.
Brands in the hospitality sector have been engaging in interesting tactics to make them stand out in a crowded space. Marriott International's recent content marketing efforts include a “Two Bellmen” series of original short films with characters and a plot. Earlier this year Hyatt teamed up with Sports Illustrated to create a travel service specific to traveling youth sports teams, including a digital platform to make it easy for parents and coaching to book hotels. And both Hyatt and Marriott have been testing personal digital assistants like Apple’s Siri in rooms to give guests voice-activated control over room elements like temperature, lighting and the TV.