Inspired by Loyalty and Leadership: How Hotel Executives Can Increase Morale and Productivity

By Lewis Fein CEO, Lewis Fein Communications | May 31, 2015

If I were to cite an example of a company that sings the right notes but strikes the wrong chords, a brand that encapsulates this contradiction between authenticity and blatant falsehood, I would point a motley crew of copywriters and art directors, and marketing executives and studio musicians, to the worm coiled within the recesses of my ear; because this commercial, aired during Super Bowl XLVIII, is an unintentional metaphor for business leaders everywhere, including hoteliers who must never convey anything but graciousness and sincerity.

I refer to Bob Dylan's on-camera montage, one part voice-over and three parts walking, talking (and presumably, driving), on behalf of the Chrysler 200.

This nasal-voiced paean to Detroit, which opens with an inane rhetorical question ("Is there anything more American than America?"), and cuts to the addictive melody of "Things Have Changed," interspersed with motion pictures of horses, cheerleaders, a flag-adorned Millennial (later seen holding her son like a prop), a neon-lit diner (in the desert), an amusement park and a duo of dead celebrities (Marilyn Monroe and James Dean), among other things, this mess comes to us from a car manufacturer owned by a Netherlands-based holding company with its global headquarters in London.

The lesson to hotel executives, by way of this two-minute combination of kitsch and pool hall bravado – the ad ends with Dylan, clothed in funereal black with 15 or more men behind him, breaking a rack of balls – is, all promises (" car.") to the contrary, nonsense.

And people know it!

Again, this roundabout emphasis on sincerity is the result of the repetitious power of a song having the opposite effect on this listener.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.