THE MARKETING 100: DOUBLETREE: THOMAS STOREY

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Twelve million cookies can't be a bad sign.

Doubletree Hotel Corp. provides chocolate chip cookies at its front desks; guests snag about 12 million of them a year. Not only have the cookies provided sweet dreams for guests, a branding campaign based on them has given Doubletree sweet results.

Thomas Storey, Doubletree's exec VP-sales and marketing and the official who oversees the hotel chain's branding efforts, says the idea was to create peace of mind for the hotel guest by using the cookie.

"All of this is represented by the cookie, which symbolizes warmth, home, safety and security," says Mr. Storey, 40.

Unlike most every other hotel ad campaign, Doubletree spots don't show hotel properties.

"Sweet Dreams," from GSD&M, Austin, Texas, has run on TV for more than a year and a half and was the shop's first effort for Doubletree following its selection last year.

"Our brand awareness now measures 85% and our central reservations systems, which before the campaign provided 22% of a property's business, now is responsible for 31%," says Mr. Storey.

In addition, he says, Doubletree's revenue per available room has increased 12%.

Mr. Storey says the agency is looking at ways to refresh its spots, which depict two dancers gliding across a TV screen with the caption "The staff didn't miss a beat" or a spacious scene captioned with "Your suite was spacious."

Despite the campaign's themeline, Mr. Storey says the effort is not about dreams.

"We are selling peace of mind created by our employees," he says. "The cookie is the icon. To everyone else, it's just a cookie. To us, it's a mission statement."

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