Q&A: DoubleTree By Hilton Launches 'Warm Cookie' Campaign

DoubleTree by Hilton is launching a campaign that aims to inspire a more welcoming world. 

Themed “Your Warm Cookie Awaits,” the brand hopes to create #SweetWelcome moments across the country. The campaign includes refreshed creative and out-of-home digital billboards, paid social media and banner ads and a partnership with actress and philanthropist Monique Coleman. Stuart Foster, Hilton vice president, global brand marketing, filled Marketing Daily in on the new campaign. 

Can you tell me more about your brand’s new integrated marketing campaign, “Your Warm Cookie Awaits”? 

Let me preface by saying that providing a warm welcome to guests is inherently part of our DNA here at DoubleTree by Hilton, and that starts with sharing our signature DoubleTree Cookie with guests upon arrival. We’re elevating that unique symbol of hospitality with the launch of the “Your Warm Cookie Awaits” campaign. Created in partnership with The Martin Agency, it is designed to inspire others to make the world a more welcome place. 



Who is this campaign aimed at? Is it a different audience than you’ve previously focused on?

The campaign is aimed at business and leisure travelers. Given the diversity of the portfolio and our many global destinations, we’ve always appealed to and targeted a wide array of travelers, whether that be a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary or a group of young business professionals on a retreat.

Can you talk about the OOH component? Why did you decide to use OOH?

Our OOH component includes more than 30% of our total marketing spend. Grounded in research and insight, we wanted to ensure we’re targeting not only a large number of consumers, but also the right consumers in some of our key markets. As an example, our OOH digital billboards are estimated to reach more than 22 million people across four top-performing key markets (Denver, Santa Monica, New York and Washington, D.C.). 

How has the brand evolved and what are its strengths?

We’ve come a long way since the founding of the brand in 1969 when the first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel opened in Scottsdale, Ariz. Since then, the brand has steadily grown throughout the United States and the world. Our strength truly lies in our thousands of dedicated team members around the world. Each and every one of them deliver on the brand’s simple service philosophy of CARE (Creating a Rewarding Experience). This philosophy illustrates how that the simple human touches and acts of kindness make every guest’s stay a delight.

What are the primary challenges facing the brand?

With an increasingly crowded space of upscale, full-service segment of hotels, we’re continually striving to stand out among the rest — given it’s a segment of the hotel industry that can easily become a “sea of sameness.” With this in mind, we work to keep our brand fresh by introducing new and renovated properties and by unveiling inspiring and interactive marketing campaigns.

How has hospitality marketing, in general, changed and where do you see it going?

Hospitality marketing continues to evolve for a new generation of travelers. Combined with increased interest in and access to technology around them, today’s modern and savvy traveler values experiences and feeling connected to a brand more than ever. When young travelers — and Millennials in particular — arrive at a hotel, they want to feel completely at home and part of an experience that is reflective of their values. It’s no longer enough to develop integrated marketing campaigns focusing solely on the “hard product,” such as onsite food and beverage offerings or new bathroom amenities.

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