ITT Sheraton and Radisson have adopted global themes for their campaigns, while Choice Hotels and Howard Johnson adapted their U.S. themes to international ads.
The reason for the worldwide focus is clear: Hotels want to be a part of the increasingly global nature of business and leisure travel. Travel to the U.S. this year is expected to grow 5% to 47.9 million travelers, according to the U.S. Travel Data Center, while outbound travel will grow 4% to 47.3 million.
"The international tourism market is a vibrant market ... We want our brands known around the world," said Tony Rothwell, VP-international marketing for Choice Hotels International, with 500 properties outside the U.S.
Also, as some major U.S. business and leisure centers approach saturation, growth opportunities are elsewhere.
"We have the whole world to" grow, said June Farrell, international public relations director for Marriott International, with 51 hotels in 27 countries outside the U.S.
Several U.S. chains are embarking on worldwide campaigns:
ITT Sheraton Corp., with 103 properties in 61 countries, takes an aggressive global stance with its "Our world revolves around you" campaign on network and cable TV in the U.S. and on CNN International and airline in-flight programs. Print ads appear in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Time and USA Today, created by Wells Rich Greene BDDP. BDDP handles European ads.
Radisson Hotels International, with 71 international properties in 30 countries, in May unveiled print ads in the jackets of consumer magazines distributed on planes. Ads carry the theme, "This must be the place." C&M, Woodbridge, N.J., handles. TV supports on CNN and early-morning network shows. Print ads also appear on the USA Today Monday international page. TBWA, London, and the Rydge Group, Sydney, Australia, help place advertising abroad.
Choice Hotels is spending $3 million on international TV this year and will extend its people-popping-out-of-a-suitcase ads to France and Singapore for the first time this year. New Canadian TV ads broke in March. J. Walter Thompson, Singapore, handles advertising in France and Singapore, and Robins Sharpe, Toronto, in Canada.
Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, with 50 properties in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, in January broke its first international advertising with a $2 million TV campaign in Mexico, focusing on travel within that country and to Florida, handled by AC&R, New York. Newspaper supports in Canada.
Marriott limits U.S. print ads touting its international locations to the travel trade but in the U.K. and Germany does consumer print. European print features real life situations in which Marriott delivered exceptional service. "Always the right place at the right time" is the theme in the U.K. and Germany, handled by Foote, Cone & Belding Communications, London and Frankfurt. FCB/Leber Katz Partners New York, handles U.S. advertising.