Hilton Taps The Rolling Stones in New Campaign

Hotel Chain Worked With London-Based Fold7 on Global Push

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Hilton is debuting a new campaign.
Hilton is debuting a new campaign. Credit: Hilton

Hilton Worldwide is inviting its customers to get more satisfaction from their bookings. This week, the hospitality giant is introducing a global advertising campaign, "Stop Clicking Around," complete with broadcast and digital spots, billboards and The Rolling Stones.

A 30-second spot, set to the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," encourages consumers to book directly through Hilton rather than waste time on third-party sites. The ad will air in a 60-second extended version as well as 15- and 6-second cuts.

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"The key message is to tell consumers they don't have to shop around 25 different websites," explained Geraldine Calpin, who was promoted to chief marketing officer in September and also heads up the digital department. "You'll get the best value if you book directly through Hilton."

She noted that Hilton is also introducing a new Hilton HHonors discount product that will give members more benefits for booking with the brand.

The 97-year-old hotel chain tapped London-based Fold7 for the campaign, which was also supported by OMD Worldwide. Ms. Calpin declined to say how much McLean, Va-based Hilton is spending, but said it is in the double-digit millions. Hilton spent $189 million on advertising in 2014, according to Ad Age Datacenter. The commercial was filmed in New York, London, Tokyo and Thailand and will air in 22 languages.

"We're going for a different, creative, much bolder approach than before," said Ms. Calpin. "The testing was off the charts -- every age and demographic love that track."

Licensing a song by The Rolling Stones doesn't come cheap, of course. The track could cost the hotelier upwards of $100,000, estimates David Fiorenza, professor of economics and business dynamics with a focus on the entertainment industry at Villanova University. Ironically, some of the lyrics in "Satisfaction" complain about useless information from advertising.

Hilton's commercials will be supplemented by a concert in San Diego with an as-yet announced artist and a promotional event in London later this month.

As Airbnb and other vacation alternatives grow in size and number, traditional hotel brands are making a concerted effort to market themselves to consumers. In October, Hilton rival Hyatt rolled out its own multi-million dollar global campaign -- the largest in the chain's nearly 50-year history.

Hilton, which boasts over 4,600 hotels in more than 100 countries and territories, is also aiming to be top of mind with millennials. Last month, it introduced a new brand, Tru by Hilton, which is aimed at the trendsetting generation.

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