Not since HBO decorated one New York shuttle train to resemble the Gem saloon from "Deadwood" have I so looked forward to riding public transportation.
Westin decorated the interiors of all three S trains that shuttle commuters and tourists between Grand Central Terminal and Times Square with relaxing travel imagery.
The six-day wrap process left commuters with three options: jump from a sauna to Icelandic waters, walk through a rainforest and encounter a waterfall, or view underwater life. Sign me up for the rainforest.
The train wraps are part of a $30 million campaign that turns major hubs of transportation into "places of renewal."
The ads are a continuation of the brand's "This is How it Should Feel" campaign, and aside from the massive amounts of outdoor elements -- more than 270 different pieces of creative across 2,750 media placements -- print, radio and online components are used.
"The use of nontraditional media marks an exciting new direction for Westin," said Sue Brush, senior vice president, Westin Hotels & Resort. "What better way to convey the Westin Renewal experience than to literally surround consumers with positive experiential messages in subways and airports and on highways, where they are most stressed and yearning for an escape," she continued.
The campaign, created by Deutsch New York, launched in major cities such as Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York City. MediaVest handled the media buy.
In New York, Westin used a Bluetooth-enabled billboard to encourage passersby to download a Westin ringtone because "renewal is calling." The ringtone was created because of positive viewer response to the music used in Westin's 15-second TV ads.
The New York City subway system is also home to various column wraps featuring serene landscape pictures that form one larger picture when viewed from the right direction. Calm, soothing images were really needed last Wednesday, when many subway lines were shut down due to flooding. Except that day, the pictures probably looked more like they were mocking the frenzied scene.
Sub-media ads were placed in the PATH train line tunnels to create a mini-movie of sorts. Consider it a modern-day flipbook. As the train passes through the tunnel, ads come at commuters to create optical entertainment. The morning ad features a blooming flower and the copy "morning stretch." Evening creative shows crashing waves as a more peaceful form of rush hour.
Lenticular ads (creative that changes as you move) were also placed throughout train stations nationwide. One ad shows two version of an emergency exit: the one you'd find in your office building, and a wooden path going into a forest.
The blooming flower, along with a Zen rock garden, appear outdoors in the form of three-dimensional ads placed near the Holland Tunnel. Click here to see creative.