Hilton has launched a new ad campaign to educate customers about why it is in their interest to book direct with the hotel, and also the added benefits of being part of their loyalty scheme. The new ad builds on an older campaign that yielded significant success for the hotel group. We find out more.
Hilton is embarking on an ambitious marketing campaign that they hope will have customers rushing to their booking site and signing up to their loyalty program. A new ad campaign with the slogan, “Expect Better, Expect Hilton”, features actress Anna Kendrick and is aimed at educating consumers about the benefits in terms of cost and extras of booking through Hilton direct as opposed to through booking sites like Expedia and Hotels.com. They are also using the ad spot to shine a spotlight on the Hilton Honors program, and straight talking about the benefits customers can expect to receive once they are a member. “We’re trying to go straighter at the points that matter most to customers,” said Hilton Chief Marketing Officer . “We want to speak to customers about things we know they care about, but do it in an engaging way.”
Hilton has some previous experience of seeing unprecedented returns from effective marketing campaigns. In 2016, the group invested some serious capital into an ad campaign called “Stop Clicking Around”, which informed customers that they would get the lowest rates through the direct booking site, and that there were even more advantages if you were with the loyalty program. Hilton saw a significant increase in traffic to their direct booking platform, as well as an incredible 9000 new members to the Hilton Honors loyalty scheme. Downloads of the Hilton Honors app also increased, which saw an 112% increase in that year’s profits on the year before. So it’s perhaps no wonder that they are investing in a new campaign, especially as this campaign has been conceived of as an evolution of Stop Clicking Around, with a similar message, but different delivery.
Changing the conversation
One of the big strengths of Hilton’s new campaign is how it is presented. Kenny elaborated on this new strategy of telling it like it is, saying, “When we said it to them in plain English, super simple, people’s jaws dropped and they said it was powerful and does make them want to have a direct relationship with us. It’s highlighting existing proof points that we’ve always had. We’re just shining a spotlight on them in a new way. We used to say direct booking, but now we talk about direct relationships. We are in the business of building relationships on an emotional level with our customers. It’s not just about the booking you’re going to get tomorrow. It’s the relationship. It works both ways. That relationship needs to grow and be nurtured over time.” One of the biggest ways that Hilton is pushing the relationship angle is through their Honors program, hoping that this will encourage prospective guests to firm up their loyalty to Hilton by joining the membership scheme and reaping the rewards.
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Hilton: