Hilton to hotel guests: forget third-parties; book directly with us [Video]

by | Sep 21, 2019 | Chains

Hilton has brought Anna Kendrick on board to promote its direct booking campaign. (Photo: Hilton)

“Expect Better, Expect Hilton” campaign with Anna Kendrick continues in 2019 as Hilton reports more guests willing to ditch OTAs and book directly from them.

In recent years, a trend has taken hold within the hospitality industry which has seen hotel groups working hard to woo clients away from OTAs and get them to book directly with them.

This trend has come as a result of a sea change within the industry, as booking online has moved from a novelty two or three decades ago, to the primary means through which guests find and book stays at hotels. This change has meant that the money these guests spend has also moved online.

Where once the fees paid to OTAs for facilitating travel bookings online may have seemed insignificant, this perception has now changed, and, as a result, hotels are working to create a culture of guests booking directly with them.

Hilton’s ‘Expect Better, Expect Hilton’ program

The ways hotel companies are seeking to make these changes are disparate. One which stands out, is Hilton’s “Expect Better, Expect Hilton” program.

This is essentially a marketing campaign which lets guests know more about the extra benefits they receive when they book directly through Hilton’s large family of 17 brands.

Perhaps more importantly, however, Hilton has reached consumers with this message through the help of its first-ever celebrity-focused ad campaign, which stars the actress and singer, Anna Kendrick.

Savvy marketing with Anna Kendrick

What exactly does that campaign look like?

Well, it’s a cheeky marketing campaign, to be sure, one which puts Anna’s personality and multi-generational appeal at the forefront.

It brings the innovative Hilton brand to life and has spurred double-digit growth among leisure travellers who saw the ads and went directly to Hilton’s site or app to book accommodations for their next trip.

“Expect Better. Expect Hilton.” is a campaign to bring the innovative Hilton brand to life.

A success which is likely to spur imitation

How successful has it been? Since the launch of Hilton’s “Expect Better. Expect Hilton” campaign in September 2018 — which lets guests know about a wide range of direct booking benefits, including choosing your room, free Wi-Fi, digital keys, price matching, and more — the consumer response has been significant and positive.

Recent data also shows a significant increase in consumer perception that they are getting the best price when they book directly with Hilton, and, even better, the company has seen a significant uptick in new guests who have not previously stayed with the brand.

Membership in the free-to-join, award-winning Hilton Honors rewards program has at the same time grown to more than 94 million members, a 20% increase over the previous year.

Furthermore, booking intent has increased nearly 10% among people who would normally book through third-party travel companies.

In other words, this campaign has been effective. While there’s only one Anna Kendrick and she’s already working with Hilton, it seems likely that other major hospitality companies will be rolling out similar campaigns soon, potentially with their own celebrity spokespeople attached.

Let’s take a look at a few more Hotel projects by Hilton:


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Hilton Worldwide is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of brands spanning more than 6,000 properties around the world.


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