By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com
The HSMAI Adrians are the CLIO awards of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry – the nation’s third largest industry which people don’t readily recognize as being so integral to everyday life, so fundamental to local economies and communities. But these are the advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns that excite, engage, inform and ultimately spur millions of us to venture out and experience new places, people and activities. Travel bolsters local, state and national economies, creates an economic underpinning for communities that sustains heritage, culture and the environment, while travelers are themselves enriched, often with life-enhancing, life-changing experiences; travelers become ambassadors, opening lines of communication and understanding between people that break down the barriers that promote conflict, in effect, winning the battle for “hearts and minds.”. And going back to the age of Marco Polo, travelers help the free exchange and spread of ideas and innovations that foster progress.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) hosted its 62nd annual Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, celebrating innovators in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations before more than 850 industry professionals.
It’s so interesting at these annual Adrian Awards galas to see how far and how fast hospitality, travel and tourism marketing has come. But it is important to note that the travel industry essentially birthed e-commerce – only then it was called “e-ticketing” and started with giving travelers the ability to book their own airline tickets online.
So much has happened in the past 30 years that few remember how not that long ago, an air traveler book and pick up a physical ticket at a travel agency or airline city ticket office. Since then, the travel and tourism industry has been on the leading age of yield management, CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) that gave us the loyalty programs, which gave us the data mining and micro-targeting and dynamic pricing.
Now the challenge is to get through all the clutter, to inform, inspire, captivate, and finally transform a consumer into a traveler, a guest, a passenger, a visitor.
Now, as Gopi Kallayil, Google’s Chief Evangelist of Brand Marketing, told the HSMAI Digital Marketing Conference the next day, the ability to search real-time databases of all sorts of travel components, putting all this power, knowledge in desktops, on smartphones literally in one’s hand. has created new expectations. The goal, he said, isn’t even three seconds to load a site and six clicks to book, but zero clicks by a program that virtually reads your mind.
Each year, the creativity and the technology leaps forward. (Imagine writing emails on your shower stall (Marriott International’s “Splash of Brilliance”). But what is so interesting now, is how it is all in the service of getting back to the basics of what travel and hospitality is all about: face-to-face encounters, personal experience. The award-winning advertising, public relations, digital marketing and sales campaigns are those that are “authentic”, “personal,” that forge “connections”. Winning campaigns this year celebrated the Golden Rule of kindness and respect, “unplugging” and “connecting”, “upcycling” discarded bedsheets into pajamas for needy children.
Indeed, one of the new categories introduced to the HSMAI Adrian Awards this year was for Corporate Social Responsibility – in essence modeling values for travel and tourism at a time when overtourism (spurred in part by social media) is an emerging concern and there is much more consciousness raised about both the benefits of tourism to preserve and protect ecology and heritage, as well as the risks that overuse can destroy the very thing people come to experience. Here again, the hospitality and travel industry can model techniques and solutions that individuals can bring back to their own homes and communities.
The first Leader in Corporate Social Responsibility Awards were presented to four recipients:
Aqua-Aston Hospitality: “Reef Safe” Campaign that turned the tide against coral bleaching in Hawaii caused by a chemical in many sunscreens with both a consumer awareness campaign (including giving out 70,000 samples of appropriate sunscreen) and achieving a state ban on the use of sunscreens with the damaging chemical
Hersha Hospitality: EarthView Program, which partnered with Clean the World and Cornell School of Hospitality, to institute environmental and conservation initiatives system wide, the first REIT and management program to establish institutional sustainability program
Hilton Hotels and Resorts: “Travel with Purpose – Where Responsibility and Hospitality Meet” Campaign – a campaign to reduce carbon emissions system wide.
Micato Safari: “AmericaShare” Campaign, where a portion of guest fees goes to subsidize a child’s education, and promoting wildlife conservation
The second new Award, Facebook Mobile Video Award, also reflected the changing media landscape, and was presented by Colleen Coulter, Industry Manager, Travel for Facebook to Sheraton for its Halo campaign.
More than 850 industry professionals gathered at the New York Marriott Marquis to celebrate the standout campaigns of the past year and the creative individuals behind them.
“We received a lot of impressive entries this year, but tonight’s winners are truly the crème de la crème,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “Adrian Award-winning campaigns incorporate strong elements of originality, embrace technology, and also generate real measurable results for their brands.”
Established in 1956, the Adrian Awards recognize marketing achievements in hospitality across multiple segments of the industry. Award winners are selected by senior industry and media experts from nearly 1,200 entries, for entry divisions: advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and integrated marketing. Gold Award winners across these categories were recognized during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, which was co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google, and TravelClick. Platinum winners were selected from outstanding Gold Award winners.
Best of Show Awards, the pinnacle of the evening, were presented to Platinum Award winners from three divisions—digital marketing, public relations, and advertising:
Digital Marketing “Best of Show” – AccorHotels: Seeker Campaign
Public Relations “Best of Show” – Westin Hotels & Resorts and its agency, MFA, a Finn Partners Company: Westin Launches CSR Program to Upcycle Hotel Bed Linens, Transforming Them into Children’s Pajamas
(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” Marriott International and its agency, mcgarrybowen: Golden Rule Campaign (Courtyard, Fairfield, Four Points & SpringHill Suites)
(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Explore St. Louis: Sterling K. Brown Advertising Series
(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Marriott International: Marriott Hotels and HK7s Innovation in Advertising Campaign
Digital Marketing Platinum Winners:
AccorHotels for the Seeker Campaign, Le Club AccorHotels (“Discover Where Your Heart Wants to Go Next,” using biometrics; the campaign generated 100 million media impressions and 125:1 ROI)
Bermuda Tourism Authority; Miles for Bermuda Google Streetview (generated 3.5 million street views; expanded street view coverage of the island four times)
Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Ideas Collide for Best Western’s YouTube Director Mix Campaign (No need to throw a Hail Mary, plan your summer trip today! Two-step your way out of town for a trip; the campaign generated 29 million impressions)
Curio Collection by Hilton; I.D.E.A. for “The Curiosity Gene Campaign” (Do you have the curiosity gene? It received 6.9 million impressions, 1 million engagements, 320% increase in Instagram engagements)
Margaritaville Resort Orlando; Concept Farm for The Integrated Consumer Digital Campaign (generated 12,000 ownership leads, 225 closed contracts, 20,000 rental leads).
Marriott Rewards for Dynamic Ads for Moments (“Blast off at Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL)
Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism; Target for “The IcebergFinder.com Campaign” (The campaign drew 33K Facebook engagements, 466K website interactions, 5K referrals)
VISIT PHILADELPHIA and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority for Retargeting Marketing (generated 1,265 overnight hotel stays)
Relations Platinum Winners:
Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel; C&R, for “Urban Glamping at the Beverly Wilshire” story
Brand USA for “Travel Transcends Politics” to reset the narrative around travel to USA from abroad: (“Brand USA Faces Extinction Under Trump’s Proposed Budget; The USA Would Never Be the Same” “the Trump Slump: German tourists avoid US as travel destination”) “Welcome to the USA” generated 2 billion media impressions; $276 million in earned media
Major Food Group; NJF, an MMGY Global Company, for CBS This Morning segment
Marriott International for “Splash of Brilliance”
Marriott International for “W Hotels’ Experience At Coachella” (Marriott X Coachella: Elevating the Festival Experience)
Murphy Arts District; NJF, an MMGY Global Company for a campaign to create a new destination, “El Dorado, Arkansas, the Comeback Kid of the South, Murphy Arts District”
The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel, for “Home Alone 2: 25th Anniversary”
Royal Caribbean International; Weber Shandwick for “A Perfect Night to Introduce a Perfect Day”
Westin Hotels & Resorts; MFA, a Finn Partners Company for “Westin Launches CSR Program to Upcycle Hotel Bed Linens, Transforming Them into Children’s Pajamas” (223 million media impressions)
The Aruba Tourism Authority; Concept Farm for “The Authentic Aruba Local Stories Campaign” (which resulted in 13% increase in US visits, 10 M social media impressions, 1M video views)
Explore St. Louis for “The Sterling K. Brown Advertising Series” (which generated 200K visits, 4.5 million impressions, 140K Youtube views)
Hilton Garden Inn; GSD&M for “Simply on Another Level Video” (which generated 30% increase in campaign recognition, and 3.85 billion media impressions).
Marriott International; mcgarrybowen for “The Golden Rule Campaign
Marriott International for Marriott Hotels and HK7’s Innovation in Advertising (1.4 million views on facebook, )
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts for “Reconnected: A Wyndham Grand Family Experience” (which generated 2.9 million social media impressions, and reached 1.8 billion viewers)
Campaign Platinum Winner:
Tourism Australia for its Dundee Tourism Campaign for Australia, “There’s Nothing Like Australia” (14,000 PR mentions, 102 million video views, 305,000 campaign leads; 50% lift in destination desirability)
Award winners’ submissions – selected from close to 1,200 entries – were
showcased on digital displays at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and
featured during the Gala stage presentations. The largest group of winners in
the Award’s history, they included 104 awards in Public Relations, 25 in
Integrated Marketing, 89 in Digital Marketing and 48 in Advertising. They were selected
by some 200 judges who are prominent members of the travel industry and
subject-matter experts in advertising, digital marketing, media, and public
relations.( View the complete list of Gold Award winners on the Adrian Awards website).
“The Adrian Awards winners raise the bar for the travel industry as a whole to be a place of creativity and innovation,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI Executive Vice President. “The Adrian Awards are a rare opportunity to recognize the exceptional work being done in travel marketing. But just as importantly, we are also putting a well-deserved spotlight on the exceptional people behind that outstanding work.”
HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds
Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization for 2018 were honored by HSMAI in a reception and also recognized on stage during the Gala.
Jennifer Andre, Senior Director, North America and Latin America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Dustin Bomar, Head of Industry – Travel, Google
Ronald Castro, Chief Strategist, Roca Marketing
Christopher Crenshaw, CRME, Vice President, Digital Data Solutions, STR
Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company
David Downing, President & CEO, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
Erica Doyne, Vice President, Marketing, AMResorts
Gino Engels, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, OTA Insight
George Galinsky, Senior Vice President Marketing Communications, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment
Darren Green, Senior Vice President, Sales, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board
Chad Hallert, CRME, CHDM, Vice President of Performance Marketing, Noble Studios
Allison Handy, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Prism Hotels & Resorts
Adam Hayashi, CRME, Vice President of Revenue Management, AccorHotels
Carolyn Hosna, CHDM, Senior Director, Corporate Marketing, White Lodging
Jay Hubbs, CHDM, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, Remington Hotels
Jodi Kern, Senior Director, Digital Merchandising, Marriott International
Gil Langley, President & CEO, Amelia Island CVB
Dave Lorenz, Vice President, Travel Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Sarah Murov, Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Loews Hotels & Co
Leticia Proctor, Senior Vice President, Sales, Revenue Management and Digital Strategies, PM Hotel Group
Julie Scott, President, Colwen Hotels
Jim Struna, CRME, Regional Director of Revenue, Rosewood Hotel Group
Matt Teixeira, CHBA, Director of Sales, Best Western Hotels and Resorts
Theresa van Greunen, Senior Director Corporate Communications, Aqua-Aston Hospitality
Cherilyn Williams, Director, Global Portfolio Marketing, Marriott International
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Additionally, the distinguished careers of three industry leaders were celebrated with HSMAI Lifetime Achievement awards.
Steve Bartolin, Chairman of The Broadmoor, was honored with the 2018 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations.
Stephen Powell, most recently SVP Worldwide Sales for IHG prior to retirement, was the recipient of the inaugural HSMAI Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Sales.
Harris Rosen, President and CEO, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, was celebrated with the Albert E. Koehl Award for Hospitality Marketing.
For more information about the Adrian Awards, visit www.adrianawards.com.
Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at https://www.hsmai.org, www.facebook.com/hsmai, www.twitter.com/hsmai, and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.
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