NEW YORK—Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is opening a number of hotels and a new global advertising campaign to match. "The Stories Begin Here" is a multi-platform campaign that features actress Olga Kurylenko (best known for her role opposite Daniel Craig in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace) in collaboration with fashion photographer Bruno Dayan and British author Simon Van Booy, who was commissioned to write a short story to accompany the photo shoots.
Hilton Worldwide's luxury brand is set for a spate of openings in 2014, including Waldorf Beijing, Waldorf Jerusalem and Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah, all of which are slated to open in the first quarter. Waldorf Amsterdam is scheduled to open in April 2014. Waldorf Astoria Panama and Waldorf Ras Al Khaimah opened in 2013.
Stuart Foster, VP of marketing, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, held court at the Waldorf Astoria to explain the campaign, which he believes will spin the iconic brand in a different light, attracting new luxury travelers, particularly those who may have had the idea that the Waldorf Astoria represented a sort of stodgy, old luxury.
The new campaign shows it is anything but that. One photo still shows the elegant Kurylenko against the elegant lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.
In the campaign, Kurylenko plays a character named Alexandra, created exclusively by Van Booy as a young, successful and well-traveled couturier, spending time experiencing moments at a Waldorf Astoria hotel. The story, entitled "The Escape Artist," aims to take readers on a journey through the eyes of Alexandra as she encounters the environments and service a Waldorf Astoria hotel offers.
"This is a truly innovative marketing and communications plan for this legendary brand. We have brought together three creative minds to develop an integrated multi-platform campaign that embodies the Waldorf Astoria guest experience," said Foster.
The campaign will be deployed via print, digital and social channels, Foster said.
There will be three vignettes in all: Alexandra's arrival and chance encounter in the lobby (pictured here); her moment of inspiration en suite; and a relaxing moment in the hotel's spa. See more on the making of the campaign here.
The campaign, which includes a multi-million dollar media plan, spans the U.S., U.K., United Arab Emirates and Chinese media outlets.
Those curious can access the whole Waldorf Astoria story at www.waldorfastoria.com/thestories—with behind-the-scenes video and interactive content. A social media contest and Facebook tab introduces the campaign to fans of the Waldorf Astoria brand and reinforces the brand’s commitment to interacting with luxury travelers.