Have you ever done a search for creative advertisements? Either print or digital? If so you know you’ll be treated with hundreds of original examples. But if you search a bit more specifically and type in ‘creative hotel advertisements’, you might just find yourself disappointed. I know I was. The amount of hotels that try to be more creative than the standard magazine ads, where we get to see the hotel's pool or comfy beds, is so little it makes me sad.
And the funny thing is that the hotels that do decide to be more creative, those who allow new approaches, win. One important thing to state right here is that creative doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Even better: it might turn out cheaper than your normal way of advertising.
In this post I’ll share with you 3 examples of hotel advertisements which are above average. I hope they spark a little fire to get creative and to think a little bit more outside of your comfort zone. Your hotel or hostel will benefit from it, that I promise.
1: Mandarin Oriental
A creative take on Summer Breaks for Mandarin Oriental, by LONDON Advertising. They are currently onto their next campaign ‘celebrity fans' where they are showing off which celebrities love staying at the Mandarin Oriental hotels. Even though the reach of that campaign will probably be significantly more – because they are making use of such big celebrities – I wanted to show you this specific poster because of the smart but simple concept behind it. Because that's what we should be looking at in order to learn.
- Look at your hotel’s name, origin or location
- Identify what’s typical about that
- Write or scribble down symbols, patterns, visualizations that match these outcomes
- Think about how you could ‘fill’ these symbols, patterns, icons or whatever they may be with something specific to your style or hotel
2: Museum Hotel Wellington
This ad for the Museum Hotel Wellington doesn't need many words. It's a clear concept and example of good hotel advertising. The poster is divided into 3 sections stating the main focus points of the hotel, yet they come together in the visualization. For anyone without a single bit of Photoshop skills, this ad might seem impossible but hire any graphic/digital design (or a related study) student and they can create a similar ad for you within a very short period of time.
However, it's the idea behind the ad that counts and finding the right idea can be very, very tricky. The concept has to be strong and should be media independent, meaning: the idea behind this ad should be able to be translated in, let's say, at least 3 more print ads, 5 online banners, a video, and so on.
- Decide what the main features are your hotel offers your guests
- Put them all separately on a paper
- Brainstorm around that one main feature: what does it remind you of?
- Make combinations of the outcomes
- Try to create an idea based on these combinations that’s sustainable and would be able to be used in multiple media outlets
- Always check if that idea fits the values and goals of your hotel
- And the values and expectations of your target audience/guests
3: Meliá Hotels & Resorts
So you may or may not know this print ad campaign by Meliá Hotels & Resorts. But it's quite a famous example of hotel advertising, and not without a reason: the idea behind it is simply brilliant. Your hotel's staff is incredibly important for a guest's experience and them performing their tasks with passion should be one of your hotel's highest priorities. Hard-working staff that puts energy into what they do can truly make the difference. For this specific ad, the agency behind it went back to the roots of Meliá Hotels & Resorts which lie in Spain, the country of culture and passion. The agency tried to reflect this through the campaign by showing the staff (which were actually flamenco dancers, how brilliant is that!) passionately performing their duties. All under the tagline “Passion. It's in everything we do.”.
- Your staff is incredibly important: take a good look at them.
- How could they maybe be featured in your next campaign?
- What makes your staff different from other staff?
- Keep a logbook with funny quotes and events happening regarding your staff, this could become the lead for a future campaign
Why should you be creative?
Because almost every hotel is using the exact same marketing technique: show off beautiful pictures of the rooms, breakfast and pool. There seems to be very little thought put into what a hotel makes unique, why it stands out of the crowd. What are the personality and the experience it manages to create for its guests? That's what matters. That's creative hotel advertising.
It's never been more important to differentiate yourself from the rest. Of course, first and foremost you should do this through your provided services. The quality of the hospitality you offer should be your top priority. But communication should come next and that's where authenticity and creativity come into play. If you're able to communicate your unique features, your specific experience, in a different way then your guests are way more likely to remember you, to write reviews about you and to book with you in the first place.
If you are looking for more ideas, then check out the 27 tips I put together for B&B Instagram Marketing. These are also super helpful for hotels.