Smell This! Westin’s Unique Ad Campaign.
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 03.30.06 | 12:28 PM ET
My wife, Leslie, has a game she likes to play. Every once in a while, she dabs on some lotion from one of the hotels where we’ve stayed in recent years, rubs it into her hands and holds them up to my nose. “Where’s this from?” she demands with a grin. I take a whiff. My olfactory glands spring into action. Messages are relayed from my nose to my brain, and I find myself saying something like, “Maui. Definitely that place on Maui.” Or: “Is that from the hotel in Guadalajara?” More often than not, to my surprise, I’m right. The nose knows. Westin Hotels & Resorts must know this, too.
The company has embarked on a unique ad campaign. Full-page ads—I saw one in The New Yorker—resemble perfume ads, complete with a subtle fragrance residing under a sticky flap. A single line of text over a photo of dewy leaves announces: “White tea. The calming new scent of Westin.” And near the bottom of the page: “This is how it should feel. Westin Hotels & Resorts.”
According to a press release, it’s part of a new multi-million dollar advertising campaign created by Deutsch New York: “In a departure from the genre, Westin’s new global television, print and online campaign is devoid of room shots, sunsets or fluffy beds. Instead, the campaign communicates what guests will feel at a Westin—a relaxing, personal and renewing experience.”
The scent in the magazine ads will apparently be wafting through Westin hotels this spring.
A bit more from the press release:
The first print ad to debut is a calming, scented execution highlighting Westin’s new signature White Tea scent, which will be introduced in hotels worldwide this spring as part of the brand’s Sensory Welcome program. The second magazine ad highlights relaxation and is simply a clear acetate page stating, “Clear your mind. Free your senses.” One television spot entitled “Breathe” literally encourages viewers to take a moment to breath and relax, while “Wake Up” demonstrates how it would be nicer to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping or waves breaking than to an alarm clock. The television spot “News” slowly replaces the jarring images, financial tickers and sounds of a business news show with calming imagery and the “Mask” spot blocks out the confusion of the outside world and allows the viewer to see only through the onscreen cool sensation of a mud mask and cucumber slices.
I’m not sure I’ll be making reservations at a Westin any time soon, but it’ll be interesting to hear whether playing to the nose pays off.