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Waldorf Astoria Unveils New Luxury Marketing Approach with Breakthrough Campaign

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Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, the iconic luxury brand of Hilton recently announced a new global campaign: ‘Live Unforgettable’, a bold repositioning of the brand to highlight Waldorf Astoria’s unique experience and deepen connections with today’s luxury travelers.

Backed by extensive, region-specific analysis of consumer insights, the campaign pairs the brand’s legacy with an unexpected, playful take on True Waldorf Service. The campaign’s digital nature and fresh expression of luxury is especially relevant to the lifestyles of affluent Chinese consumers, who are well-versed in global travel and seek experiential moments.

“It is crucial to understand the luxury landscape and the evolving preferences of today’s Chinese luxury travelers. They are incredibly knowledgeable and discerning — they live digitally and in the moment,” said Daniel Welk, vice president of luxury and lifestyle operations at Hilton Asia Pacific. “This new campaign re-positions our brand’s offering to cater to the next generation of Chinese luxury travelers, bringing attention to the personalized, unique and meaningful experiences that can be found at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.”

Luxury Consumers Today

The analysis of the luxury travel sector showed that millennials and the affluent female demographic are drastically reshaping its landscape — both globally and in China. These travelers are looking for the best of both worlds — iconic luxurious quality in tune with their modern, global lifestyles, while being able to live in the moment. Insights indicated that Chinese guests want to feel valued and immersed into their destination. This means highly personalized service that caters to their unique needs and desires, allowing them to create unforgettable experiences and live their lives to the fullest.

Live Unforgettable: The Story

‘Live Unforgettable’ is the alchemy of Waldorf Astoria’s True Waldorf Service, iconic environments and its guests’ desire to live in the moment. When these three elements come together at a Waldorf Astoria, every moment from the routine to the grand can be transformed into the unforgettable. The new campaign cleverly combines what is true to the brand’s heritage, True Waldorf Service, while recognizing what resonates with the next generation of consumers who are reshaping luxury.

For Chinese guests, this refers to their wish to experience unique moments specially tailored to their ideals and aspirations, and importantly, that they can share these unforgettable moments with their family and friends.

“In combining the brand heritage of Waldorf Astoria with what delights the next generation of Chinese luxury consumers, we crafted this fresh, digitally-led and insight-driven campaign, demonstrating the true meaning of True Waldorf Service to our deeply valued Chinese guests.” said Wendy Huang, senior vice president and commercial director at Hilton Greater China and Mongolia.

Set in the inspirational environment of Waldorf Astoria Versailles, Trianon Palace, the campaign’s storylines are a playful take on the brand’s relentless commitment to delivering True Waldorf Service — no matter how unique the request — which in turn allows guests to enjoy unforgettable experiences.

The campaign centers around three storylines, including:

  • Spa for Two — A woman requests a spa service from her Personal Concierge for her and her Highland Terrier. Much to her delight, the spa has arranged a “service for two”…for her and her adorable pup.
  • Sundae Surprise — A young couple orders every sundae on the room service menu and, without hesitation, the Personal Concierge fills the suite with every sundae imaginable.
  • Game Day — The desire for a ‘smash game’ starts with a guest calling his Personal Concierge and ends with an exuberant game of ping-pong among family and friends. Little does the Personal Concierge know, the young daughter is an all-star player.

The campaign was photographed by Ward Ivan Rafik and directed by Columbine Goldsmith — two well-known artists in the fashion industry who have worked top luxury fashion brands — and will be told primarily through digital content that leverages both demographic and behavioral targeting to reach today’s luxury traveler.

Research to Reality

The ‘Live Unforgettable’ campaign is grounded in Waldorf Astoria’s True Waldorf Service. While the preferences of today’s luxury travelers continue to evolve, service continues to be at the core of all travel experiences.

A recent global study of luxury travelers conducted by Hilton highlights a surprising reliance on concierges, with nearly one-third of those who traveled for leisure plan little to none of their trip prior to their arrival, while only 25 percent plan their entire trip before arriving at their hotel.

Eight nationalities were surveyed, leading to distinct findings. Chinese consumers ranked as number one in survey categories pertaining to digital preferences. In the section related to favorite room features, Chinese respondents placed such technological aspects as in-room connectivity and mobile apps as their highest preferences.

The research also showed that while the world becomes increasingly digital, in-person interactions are still highly valued at luxury hotels. Chinese respondents topped the ranking in their preference for using concierge services to assist with trip itinerary planning, with an emphasis on personal interactions and recommendations.

It’s not just access to service that matters to today’s Chinese luxury travelers — quality service makes a difference. In another distinct preference of Chinese survey respondents, past experiences were a leading factor in their choice to return to the same hotel chain. This demonstrates that for them, brand loyalty is created through truly quality service that ensures a return to experience the same feeling of being cared for, and valued — an ideal synergy with the values of True Waldorf Service.