3 Takeaways from Hilton's Vacationitis Campaign

Does your advertising campaign need some housekeeping? Take a page from Hilton Hotels & Resorts newest promotion, the Any Weekend, Anywhere Sale.

You may have heard Hilton's radio spots promoting its campaign. Similar to prescription-drug commercials that detail long lists of side effects, Hilton humorously tells listeners not to operate heavy machinery on their weekend getaway unless it's a golf cart because that would be awesome. They also joke if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant than you really, really need a weekend getaway.

This same satire fueled the recent launch of Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Center, an interactive website featuring personal diagnoses of vacation needs and customized prescriptions urging people to take breaks, weekend getaways and longer vacations.

While Web workers can certainly use some time away from the computer screen, it's Hilton's innovate engagement tactics and consistent marketing collateral that should catch their attention. Here are three terrific takeaways from Hilton's advertising campaign:


Short and fun surveys are a surefire way to build customer engagement with your brand. Everyone loves to kill a few minutes answering questions about the last time they took a vacation, their commute and other easy-to-answer questions about themselves. Brainstorm surveys that would interest your customer base. Like Hilton, include a quick form to gather people's names, email and physical addresses and newsletter preferences. Make sure to send these new email subscribers a custom email message to relate to how they signed up. You can use this list to target them further in the future as well.


Everyone loves getting something for free. As part of Hilton's campaign promotion, it is offering a chance to win one of 15 weekend getaways between now and Feb. 28, 2013. While many 'Net enterprises cannot afford to give away such a valuable prize, companies can get creative with prizes and how they run them. Use what you already have (e.g. extra inventory, a service you can offer for free for a month, etc.). Another way of offering a more valuable prize, is by teaming up with a complementary company - a digital gift basket, if you will. 


Speaking of teaming up, Hilton partnered with Onion Labs, the in-house creative team of The Onion, to develop humorous illustrations to run alongside each Vacationitis symptom including "Straight to Voicemailaria."  These memes can be shared on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Every digital part of your advertising campaign should offer built-in shareable features.