November 29, 2021

Campaign Spotlight: Lodging Chain Offers ‘Room’ With a View

The company is Loews Hotels and Resorts, part of the Loews Corporation, which is bringing out a campaign in print, digital and social media with a budget estimated at $4 million. The campaign carries the theme “The room you need.”

The double meaning of the theme expresses a central premise of the campaign: Loews offers “room,” in the sense of a place to rest your head at night, and room, in the sense of a respite from the kind of attention from the staff that some travelers perceive as overdone and old-fashioned.

The campaign is coming out at a time of year when consumers are flooded with ads for hotels, motels, resorts and inns. The timing reflects that, with so many consumers traveling each summer, lodging marketers seek to fish where the fish are — or where the fish are going to stay overnight.

Others that have introduced campaigns recently include the Holiday Inn Express division of the InterContinental Hotel Group, which brought back its “Stay smart” ads known for the punch line “But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night,” and the Marriott Hotels and Resorts division of Marriott International with ads that carry the theme “Travel brilliantly.”

The creative part of the Loews Hotels and Resorts campaign is being handled by an agency named Catch New York. The digital part is being handled by TravelClick in New York. The social media aspects, including a presence on Facebook and Twitter, are being handled internally at Loews with assistance from TravelClick.

The campaign is the first for Loews Hotels and Resorts in more than three years, says Bruce Himelstein, chief marketing officer of the company, which is based in New York. The most recent previous ads carried the theme “Savor the journey.”

The new campaign is also the first since Mr. Himelstein joined Loews “a little over a year ago,” he adds, after serving in senior posts for companies in the hospitality and travel fields that included Oceania Cruises, Kerzner International and Ritz-Carlton.

Loews has 19 properties now open, with two hotels under construction, in Chicago and Orlando, Fla., and “more in the pipeline,” Mr. Himelstein says.

In conducting research among consumers about the company’s place in the market, “we found that they knew we weren’t an independent, a one-off,” he adds, “and they knew we weren’t a big chain.”

“It’s a pretty special positioning,” he adds. “We fall into a sweet spot in the middle.”

Consumers perceive Loews “as a ‘safe breakout,’ ” Mr. Himelstein says: an alternative to both “the one-off hip hotels where maybe the D.J. is playing at a volume of 10 or 15 as you check in,” he adds, and the “big beige boxes” of the largest chains.

So the campaign seeks to portray staying at a Loews hotel or resort as “a unique experience,” Mr. Himelstein says, backed up by “this wonderful family legacy of hospitality called Loews.”

The goal is to “build to a point where we’re breaking through the clutter,” he adds. “It’s an exciting time to have this brand front and center.”

The initial print ads in the campaign show attractive men and women enjoying themselves at actual Loews properties. Their age range reflects a desire to reach “a slightly younger demographic” of 35 and up, Mr. Himelstein says.

In one ad, a woman wearing a knockout red dress is in her room, adjusting a strap on her shoe. “Before the red eye home, the red dress on the town,” the headline reads.

In a second ad, a man is jumping into a pool as a woman tries to avoid getting splashed. The headline reads: “Acting your age. Is truly overrated.”

In a third ad, a father and son are running with a kite on a path leading to or from a beach. The headline reads: “The annual meeting. Meets the daily escape.”

In a fourth ad, three stylish women are having sushi and cosmopolitans. “Hours to get ready,” the headline says. “Seconds to be noticed.”

Catch New York was selected by Loews in November after a review that, according to Mr. Himelstein, began with a lengthy list of agencies and was winnowed from “18 to 10 to 6 to 3” to, finally, the winner, which replaced Agency 212 in New York.

“We chose Catch because they’re scrappy, they’re young and they’re really creative,” Mr. Himelstein says.

Douglas Spitzer, partner and chief creative officer at Catch New York, recalls how keenly interested he and the other executives at the agency were in landing the Loews account.

“It’s a well-supported brand,” Mr. Spitzer says, and “an aggressive, hungry-to-grow brand.”

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Media Decoder Blog: Make Babies, Urges Saucy Public Radio Campaign

Mention public radio to a teenager today and you might get an eye roll. Why listen to the radio when you can plug in to all things digital? But if those teenagers were born into a public radio-loving family, they might be persuaded to keep listening, even through their teenage years.

At least that’s the punch line for a new ad campaign from WBEZ, the Chicago public radio station, that begins on Friday. The campaign, called “2032 Membership Drive,” encourages Chicagoans to, well, “hook up” with other Chicagoans and procreate.

A tag line on one ad sums it up succinctly: “We Want Listeners Tomorrow. Go Make Babies Today.” Other ads read: “Do It. For Chicago.” and “Interesting People Make Interesting People.”

“Most public radio marketing and advertising is very nice and polite,” said Daniel Ash, the vice president for corporate sponsorship, marketing, membership and partnerships at Chicago Public Media, which owns the station.

This campaign, he said, is meant to playfully encourage listeners in their 20s and 30s to “make babies” so that by 2032, the station will have a slew of teenage listeners.

“We wanted to break the mold and take some risks,” Mr. Ash said.

Torey Malatia, the chief executive of Chicago Public Media, said the station has a strong audience among 25- to 49-year-olds, but “as you get lower than that, 18 plus, you see the weakening of any kind of interest or loyalty.”

The campaign, which cost $400,000, was created by the digital agency Xi Chicago, part of BBDO and Proximity Worldwide. Its debut in the city will include billboards and ads on taxi tops, bridges, subways and buses.

Some ads will ask famous Chicagoans, like the chef Rick Bayless and the musician Jon Langford, to make babies.

The campaign will also include a Facebook application that will help users determine how interesting they are and what type of WBEZ content might appeal to them.

Rick Hamann, the group creative director at Xi Chicago, said the campaign tested well with the intended audience. “All of them got the joke,” he said. “They really appreciated that WBEZ was making an irreverent request.”

A version of this article appeared in print on 01/28/2013, on page B5 of the NewYork edition with the headline: A Saucy Public Radio Campaign.

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Off the Shelf: Investment Tips for the Accident-Prone

“What’s the easiest way to end up with $1 million in the stock market?”

“Start with $2 million.

Yes, in good markets and bad, investors invariably find ways to reduce the value of their holdings by doing stupid things. But two new personal finance books are intended to keep you from becoming part of the punch line.

The one that offers the most specific advice, in addition to being more entertaining, is by LouAnn Lofton, managing editor for online content at, the Web site of the Motley Fool, the financial education company that also offers its own mutual funds. She argues that investors need to do research, be realistic, think long term and learn from mistakes. But that would make an awkward title, so Ms. Lofton calls her book “
Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too
(Harper Business, $25.99).

Ms. Lofton begins by reviewing well-publicized research showing that when it comes to investing, women are far better than men at getting out of their own way. She dissects those studies and provides explanations — she calls them “the eight essential principles every investor needs to create a profitable portfolio”— of why she agrees that this is the case.

Here are her conclusions: Women trade less than men, so their transaction costs are less — and lower transaction costs mean greater returns. Women exhibit less overconfidence. (“Men think they know more than they do, while women are more likely to know what they don’t know.”) Women also shun risk, are more realistic, do more research, are more immune to peer pressure, learn from their errors and are less prone to taking extreme actions.

Ms. Lofton points out the benefits of each principle — for example, the less you know about an industry in which a company competes, the greater your chances of being surprised if you hold the company’s shares.

Then, to explain her title, she argues that Mr. Buffett has used these same eight rules to amass his fortune. For example, he doesn’t trade excessively. He also does extensive homework before he buys, is fond of saying his favorite holding period “is forever” and avoids investing in areas like technology that he says he does not understand.

The description of his investment style is a bit simplistic, of course. Not all of us can buy billions of dollars worth of a company’s shares, sometimes getting very favorable terms in return. For example, the $5 billion worth of preferred shares of Goldman Sachs that Mr. Buffett bought in 2008 paid 10 percent a year in interest. That option wasn’t available to the average mutual fund investor.

Still, the idea of using Mr. Buffett as the symbol for her investing approach is effective.

There seems to be a (probably misplaced) rule in publishing that no one will take a personal finance book seriously if it has fewer than 40,000 words. This book rounds out its simple, clear and relatively short argument with four interviews with fund managers who share the author’s beliefs, and includes  an ode to the joys of compound interest, none of which seem to be needed.. And the book finds several ways of reprising its eight rules. That grows tiresome after a while — explaining the principles twice would have been just fine.

INSTEAD of offering rules of thumb, “
Taming the Beast: Wall Street’s Imperfect Answers to Making Money
” (Wiley, $27.95), takes a detailed look at various investment styles you can use. Its author, Larry Light, a veteran financial writer, says that no single approach works all the time.

“Successful investors have an ambidextrous ability,” he says. “They don’t put all their chips in one pot.” His metaphors clash, but his point is first-rate.

The good news is that he explains specifically how various investment strategies work. So-called value investors try to buy companies when they are trading at relatively low prices, while momentum investors hope to ride a stock on the way up, attracted primarily by the fact the price is rising and not by the company’s underlying fundamentals. To buttress his central argument, he occasionally critiques the conventional wisdom.

While people who believe in index funds are correct to say a majority of mutual fund managers don’t outperform average market returns, there are usually about 30 percent who do beat the market. That means index fund investors are earning less than they could receive elsewhere.

And while stocks have produced greater returns than every other investment over the last 200 years, he says the important part of that statement is the time frame. “The obvious question arises: what investor has ever lived more than two centuries?” Mr. Light writes. The Standard Poor’s 500 had a negative return of 0.95 percent during the first decade of this century.

Even diversification is not a panacea, Mr. Light points out. In 2008, a typical investor with a portfolio of 60 percent stocks, 30 percent bonds and 10 percent cash saw the overall value of his or her investments fall by about 20 percent.

So what should an investor do? Unfortunately, Mr. Light chooses not to provide specific recommendations.

Instead he writes, “My advice: read everything. Ask questions. Talk to people. Ponder.”

While that answer is unsatisfying, understanding the various options and pondering should help keep you out of trouble, as should Ms. Lofton’s eight principles.

Investing is hard enough without tripping over your own feet. These two books should prevent you from stumbling too much.

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