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ready for takeoff

Loews Hotels Offers TSA PreCheck-ins as VIP Perk

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 24, 2012 01:48 PM

Loews Hotels found its name in the news in recent days because the fire-alarm system of its Nashville hotel was set off by a drunken two-time Olympic gold medalist, snowboarder Shaun White. His schoolboy antics led to the whole place being evacuated and a contrite apology from the snowboarder. Not exactly the kind of security Loews wants to be known for.

Now the hotel chain is the first hospitality brand to participate in a first-of-its-kind security partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. U.S. citizens who sign on to Loews’ loyalty-rewards program, YouFirst Platinum, gain complimentary enrollment into the DHS’s Global Entry program and allows guests to expedite airport screening with TSA PreCheck.

"Partnerships are integral to the way we do business as a brand," stated Loews Chairman Jonathan Tisch. "Our collaboration highlights the importance of the public and private sectors working together to improve hospitality for all our guests, whether that be at our hotels or traveling through an airport."Continue reading...

now hear this

The Cosmopolitan Invites Guests to Confess Their Sins and Fears

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 12, 2012 12:02 PM

The tony Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas made its name with the “Just the right amount of wrong” campaign.

Building on that theme this summer was an on-site installation that invited the public to share their "right amount of wrong" in an exhibition called "Confessions," a public art project designed by New Orleans artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang, whose public installations aim to spark conversation. Visitors were asked to share their secrets anonymously, keeping the brotherhood intact of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but wooing over 1,500 confessions by exhibit end.

As artist-in-residence at The Cosmopolitan, Chang turned its P3 Studio gallery into a giant confessional, “inspired by Post Secret, Shinto shrine prayer walls, and Catholicism, people could write and submit their confessions on wooden plaques in the privacy of confession booths.” The confessional themes that emerged ran the gamut: “Over half were about sex, love, or fears of dying alone.”Continue reading...

traveling brands

Vegas Tourism Board Unhappy with Leakers of Harry Photos

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 31, 2012 11:04 AM

For decades, if not centuries, groups of men that travel together for work or pleasure have been murmuring to one another, “You keep my secrets and I’ll keep yours.”

It was only 12 years ago that marketing firm R&R Partners borrowed the idea and came up with “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” which has so firmly lodged itself into popular culture that it’s hard to remember a time when the phrase didn’t exist. It’s easy to think that Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were using it back in the mid-‘60s or certainly the larger-than-life Elvis using it during his jumpsuited years there in the early ‘70s.

The phrase certainly suggests that visitors to the city go right ahead and toss whatever inhibitions they may have aside, and so plenty of folks have followed suit. You’ve got O.J. Simpson and a few pals breaking in on some sports-memorabilia peddlers. You’ve got Tiger Woods hooking up with mistresses. You’ve got Paris Hilton getting nabbed for cocaine possession.

And then Prince Harry, third in line to take over for Queen Elizabeth II, went and played some strip billiards with some gals he just met. Continue reading...

place branding

Can a TV Show Save Brand USA?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 15, 2012 03:03 PM

Brand USA, the government marketing arm pitching America as a travel destination, is getting into the branded entertainment business, with a new website now seeking television programming pitches. But is America lacking for TV shows about America?

“We know how incredible a destination can look on television and that, for many viewers, it’s what may inspire a booking for their next holiday,” commented Jay Gray, VP of Business Development, Brand USA. Continue reading...

china

World’s Largest Hotel Chain May Be One You’ve Never Heard Of

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 19, 2012 10:56 AM

You’ve got your Holiday Inns. You’ve got your Ramadas. And for the last seven years, you’ve got your HanTing Inns.

And then some more HanTing  Inns. And still more. The Chinese economy hotel chain has been growing at such a clip it’s a bit like watching the broomsticks in Disney’s Fantasia continue to split and grow, split and grow, until there is an army of the things marching back and forth.

HanTing Inns, thankfully, can’t walk, which is a good thing. If they did, they’d be crushing the Chinese landscape. As it is, a new one opens on average every two days, according to CNN. 

Headquartered in Shanghai, HanTing now has 1,000 properties in China and billionaire founder Ji Qi is expecting to be the owner of the world’s biggest hotel chain by 2020, the site notes. Business is booming but what do you expect when some rooms go for as little as $15 a night.Continue reading...

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London 2012

London 2012 Watch: It's Raining Brands Post-Cool Brittania

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 17, 2012 05:25 PM

With less than two weeks to go before the Summer Games kick off, London Olympics organizers have suddenly discovered that they’ve got a major problem on their hands: Security. And rain. A backlash to the so-called "brand police." And what to do with thousands of tetchy journalists?

Post-Cool Brittania, We Stand on Guard for Thee

After spending years prepping to make the Olympics a shining moment in the city’s history that should help make its brand shine, London is hurting for security help. Nick Buckles, the head of the firm that is providing what security will exist, G4S, admits that the whole thing has been a “humiliating shambles,” according to the Guardian. Even so, London city officials are hoping that somehow they can turn things around quickly in hopes of rescuing the city’s brand.Continue reading...

checking in

Hilton Campaign Shifts From Global to Local and Experiential

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 17, 2012 11:12 AM

"Stay Hilton" + "Go Chill," "Go Refresh," "Go Toast," "Go Foodie" — that's the message from Hilton Hotels & Resorts in the brand's new branding campaign showcasing unique experiences guests can find in the brand’s portfolio of more than 550 hotels in 80 countries.

The campaign highlights the local nuances of each destination (hence "Go NY" on its Facebook cover photo) and the guests who visit and is an evolution of the chain’s global footprint 'Stay Hilton. Go Everywhere.' campaign.

“Rolling out now in the U.S., our latest evolution of the campaign shifts from highlighting our global footprint to a focus on the experiences guests can have in our hotels," stated Andrew Flack, VP, global brand marketing, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. "The campaign illustrates how the Hilton brand connects travelers to the world in amazing and unexpected ways."Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Air New Zealand Once Again Bringing Middle-earth to the Middle Seat

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 16, 2012 02:14 PM

Air New Zealand has always had a good sense of humor and a willingness to try new things. A few years ago, the airline ran an ad featuring naked employees with uniforms painted onto their bodies. Then the airline introduced a sleazy mascot named Rico that it thankfully killed off (but not without grabbing some attention with the death, of course).

The airline with the social media fairy just announced at the San Diego Comic-Con that it has signed a two-film co-branding deal with New Line Cinema and MGM for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, which will have it using Hobbit-branded aircraft, according to Marketing Magazine.

New Zealand, of course, is where the majority of principal photography was done for the film. Fans of Peter Jackson's earlier Lord of the Rings trilogy, which also struck a marketing partnership with Air New Zealand, often fly the airline to get over to New Zealand to see where some of their favorite scenes were put on film.Continue reading...

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