HBO and W Hotels are teaming up for an innovative promotion for HBO's "Entourage," created by Civic Entertainment Group, which combines co-branding, brand extension and experiential marketing.
The national campaign, running from July 27-Sept.27, will raise the profile of "Entourage" with branded A-list-type amenities for hotel guests while also creating buzz for the new W South Beach, the newest addition to W's chain of luxury hotels, which opened July 2.
The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The flagship of the promotion is a new, luxuriously appointed three-story "Entourage Bungalow" at the W South Beach, one of five standalone bungalows on the property. Available for booking for the duration of the campaign, the "Entourage" brand bungalow is extra-ritzy, even by W standards, with a personal driver, an afternoon yacht excursion, poolside cabana and jet skies, and dinner for four at Solea, the hotel's high-end restaurant.
It also features free alcohol, courtesy of Grey Goose and Heineken and Sony Playstation3 consoles. (Presumably, the Sony products are not complimentary in the take-home sense.)
Adrian Grenier, who plays the movie star at the center of "Entourage," will unveil the bungalow on July 23, kicking off the national campaign. Chris Spadaccini, vice president, advertising and promotions, HBO, says the Entourage Bungalow is "an innovative way to give "Entourage" fans access to the lifestyle depicted in the series."
Outside Miami, the co-branded promotion will reach guests at W's 30 hotels around the country with invitations to book an "Entourage Package," which boasts a luxury suite, a free bottle of champagne and the DVD set of "Entourage's" most recent (fifth) season. All guests will also have free access to a special "HBO Entourage Channel," exclusive to W hotels, which makes the show available to guests on demand, along with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews for the upcoming sixth season.
To promote the work, HBO and W are also collaborating with Facebook, which is hosting a contest inviting members to "Make a Friend Famous." The winning entrant will be featured on a Hollywood billboard, together with the person who promoted their talent or "star quality" and two other guests. The winner will be invited to stay for three nights at the W Los Angeles-Westwood, where they will enjoy car service, a private cabana, and free drinks.
This isn't the first experiential, co-branded promotions created by Civic Entertainment Group for HBO. Last August-September, HBO promoted "Entourage" through a partnership with Virgin America called "Entourage Air," billed as the first "branded airline route," which also inaugurated Virgin's NY-Las Vegas service.
The promotion temporarily re-branded Virgin's First Class service on the route as "Entourage Class," while integrating branded freebies. It was launched with a red-carpet event at JFK hosted by Sir Richard Branson and the "Entourage" cast.