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April 6, 2008
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Live marketing takes lead in hotel group campaign




Crowne Plaza, one of the hotel brands in the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) portfolio, has launched a new campaign with live marketing at its core. Called Think Tank, it aims to strengthen the brands position as the “hotel of choice for the discerning business traveller”.

Crowne Plaza’s first integrated campaign launched across Europe this month (September) focused around a unique series of Think Tank events, providing guests with an environment to consider or debate new ideas. These evenings will bring together an elite group of visionary business leaders, known as The Crowne Plaza Mavericks. Selected for their fresh, forward-thinking approach and subsequent success in their respective fields, these “influential figures will offer business travellers an insight into the tools that they use to stay ahead of the game, as well as providing practical advice and inspiration”, according to Crown Plaza.

“Slow movement” guru and best-selling author of In Praise of Slow, Carl Honoré, will host the first Think Tank event at the Crowne Plaza London – The City on 24 September. This will be followed by similar events in Hamburg (11 October), Brussels (17 October) and Rome (7 November), each hosted by a different Maverick.

A Think Tank microsite created at www.crowneplazathinktank.com will contain various business tools, including tips and advice from the European Mavericks as well as details and news about all the events.

With the events at its heart, the Think Tank campaign will be broken down into various components. These include a media partnership with The Financial Times (FT), point-of-sale material in all Crowne Plaza properties, promotional support through newsletters to members of the Priority Club Rewards programme (the largest hotel loyalty scheme in the world), together with further print and online advertising support across Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA). The microsite launched in early September in the UK and is currently being rolled out across Europe.

Commenting on the campaign, Colin Roy, IHG’s vice president marketing and revenue management EMEA, said: “Crowne Plaza has always been a pioneering brand that recognises the needs of its business clientele and strives to create an environment, which allows guests to stay one step ahead of their competitors. In formulating the Crowne Plaza Think Tank concept, our aim has been to develop a campaign that embodies the brand’s pioneering and individual spirit while inspiring our target market.”

Meanwhile, Victoria Briggs, business development director at Out of the Blue Communications, the campaign’s lead strategic agency, said: “Think Tank is a great example of traditional marketing turned on its head. The events provide the content or the theme for all marketing communications for Crowne Plaza including the microsite, the print and digital advertising, a partnership with FT magazine, the in-hotel point of sale and PR. Experiential marketing sits firmly at the heart of the campaign.”

Other agencies involved in the campaign include Anorak (microsite), Carat (media buyers), Henry’s House (PR) and Proximity (advertising).


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