MCLEAN, VA: Hilton Hotels and Resorts launched a campaign to promote Eforea, its new global spa concept currently rolling out in over 80 locations. The effort, which targets both business and leisure travelers and aims to differentiate Hilton as a brand, is currently PR-led, explained John Forrest Ales, director of global brand PR for Hilton Hotels and Resorts.
The launch comes as hospitality brands aim to boost business travel through leisure add-ons, a trend on which PRWeek has reported and David Horton, global head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, refers to in a Wall Street Journal story on the launch.
The campaign officially kicked off on Thursday with an event at Hilton Short Hills. It started with a fashion show by Seth Aaron Henderson – last season's winner of Project Runway - in collaboration with eco-lifestyle magazine Boho. The event also included a book signing with reality star Bethenny Frankel, in support of the American Cancer Society, and wrapped up with a performance by Seal.
The team, including AOR Murphy O'Brien, is reaching out to spa, travel, and business consumer and trade publications and blogs, as well as industry syndicate news feeds like Hsindicate, directing media to www.hiltonglobalmediacenter.com. Forrest said that down the road the site will likely be the foundation for a stand-alone consumer website.
On the site, the team highlighted video featuring Hilton spokespeople and spa vendors talking about why they're happy to be partnering with the brand, as well as links to YouTube and other social channels promoting the concept.
For social media consistency, a number of global locations registered with corporate headquarters for updates and suggestions on Twitter posts and messages.
He added that internal communications also played a role in the execution, with 170,000 team members around the world, so the company sent desk drops with samples and a brochure to about 10 of its core offices.
He explained that the biggest challenge was keeping the launch under wraps and, upon launch, creating quick buzz and access through the media center.
“A lot of times people will rush and say here's a concept that's coming, here's the logo,” he said. “For us it's important to give birth to things when the consumer can experience them, so we're saying here's a spa that's open; you can book this treatment now.”
Eforea is currently slated to launch in a number of the 123 properties that already offer spa services. It will also be available at various Doubletree and Embassy Suites Hotels properties.