Hilton has launched its Australian debut of an Anna Kendrick-led ad campaign focused on addressing consumer frustrations and driving direct bookings.
Kendrick, best known as Becca in the worldwide film smash Pitch Perfect, fronts the ad which has enjoyed significant resonance in the US, particularly among millennials.
The hotel group is looking to almost double its Asia-Pacific portfolio from 27 to 50 properties over the next five years.
The ad sees Kendrick communicate the hotelier’s price match pledge for travellers who book directly through its website, app or other official channels. If guests find a cheaper room elsewhere, they get their stay discounted by 25 percent.
The campaign was prompted by Hilton research which found the public approached planning a hotel stay with scepticism and low expectations, inspiring the group to launch its “Expect Better. Expect Hilton” tagline and a promise of better flexibility, perks and experiences – alongside the best price guarantee.
Since its US debut, YouGov analysis shows consumers aged 18 to 34 who recalled viewing the ad over the past two weeks had increased from 10 percent to 14 percent. The number of millennials talking about the hotel brand also jumped from 8 percent to 14 percent.
Kendrick’s appeal is a large part of the picture, with 59 percent of consumers age 18-34 having a positive opinion of the actor and 75 percent of Kendrick’s fans in that age group having a positive view of Hilton, according to YouGov.
The “expect better” tagline and selling of the brand’s flexibility, perks, prices and match guarantee might also be a factor, a recent US travel survey finding more than half of respondents agreeing deals and discounts inspired them to book trips.
The campaign highlights Hilton’s loyalty programs and pushes the direct booking option as YouGov analysis also shows consumers favouring third-party booking sites over hotels’ own offerings.
Richard Myerscough, Hilton’s vice president of marketing and e-Commerce for Asia Pacific, said: “We know our guests work hard to afford the experience of travel, and the last thing they should do is question whether or not they’re getting the best value.
“Through this campaign, we’re standing up for travellers that have been conditioned to expect less from travel planning and educating them on how to take advantage of the best prices and perks available to them.”