Latest trends in luxury industry advertising

Browsing through the print media of the past two weeks, I have come accross the most original and innovative advertising campaign for the opening of a luxury hotel, namely the upcoming CORINTHIA Hotel in London, due to open April 2011. As a young luxury hotel brand, Corinthia has been making advances both as a hotel management company as well as a developer and owner. This has allowed major properties such as Budapest, St Petersburg and Lisbon to be market leaders, surpassing chains such as Four Seasons or Starwood brands.

The upcoming opening of the London property is for CORINTHIA  a statement which clearly defines its place among the top international luxury hoteliers. The property, which was first opened in 1887 as the Metropole Hotel, will introduce a series of novelties such as the sheer size and exclusive offering of the SPA, managed by ESPA, the largest rooms and suites in London, the largest ultra exclusive presidential suite in London. To announce the opening, instead of retorting to imagery, Corinthia has instead chosen graphic messages on a plane black background, covering several pages in between editorials of the respective magazine. The best such examples are the weekend supplements of FT and Wall Street Journal which have both featured the campaign. Through colorfoul graphics, Corinthia presents on each page the most important features of the hotel. The campaign comes in direct contrast with Shangri La’s campaign to promote its newly opened Paris property, which features a photo of a person looking toward the Tour Eiffel from the balcony of a room (very predictable).

French luxury maison HERMES is also running a different advertising campaign these months, entitles Les Artisans d’Hermes, a campaign meant to emphasize the core essence of the Hermes brand is creativity and also to pay homage to its very talented craftmen. Instead of the glamorous images which Hermes displayed in previous campaign, the present one features a graphic lady silhouette wearing a silver hand crafted necklace. The ad is simple, sophisticated and elegant at the same time.

Although sister companies, Gucci and Bottega Veneta are presenting very different type of advertising this month. While Gucci has chosen to continue its alreaady predictable sexy and glam campaign initiated three years ago, showing the same type of tanned models in sexy postures, Bottega Veneta chose a very elegant couple looking to the sky while birds fly high. It is not the image itself but the quality of the photography which is impressive. Also, the ad instills a very magnetic feeling, suggesting elegance, peace of mind, happiness. The couple wear the latest Bottega collection, the most eye catching being the lady’s handbag, the signature woven leather material of the Bottega Veneta brand.

Premium fashion brand LACOSTE delivered a surprisingly witty advertising campaign this month, with its basic products featured by models with evening gowns or luxury suits. It is the first specific campaign promoting mix and match by a major premium or luxury brand, the association being direct and overt. The campaign is also aimed at raising the bar for Lacoste’s positioning, from a premium to a luxury brand, hence the chosen ads in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Oliver Petcu