Going ‘Beyond Business as Usual’ at Caribe Royale

After battling to capture the Caribe Royale hotel’s marketing business, Bohan Carden & Cherry must now win a war.

The Nashville, Tenn., agency defeated E.B. Lane & Associates of Phoenix and two undisclosed shops in Birmingham, Ala., and Chicago in a September review to land the advertising account of the resort and convention center. South Florida’s hospitality industry went into a tailspin soon thereafter.

“If anybody can revive business in this environment, it’ll be a miracle up there with raising people from the dead,” said Scott Flexman, director of sales and marketing for the Orlando, Fla.-based client.

Not only must the privately owned 1,300-room complex compete against high-profile rivals from the Marriott, Hilton and Renaissance chains, it must reposition itself asa meeting center, Flexman said. Additional space is now under construction that will accommodate a 70-30 percent mix of corporate and tourism-related business.

“We’re positioning the hotelvis-à-vis its chain competition,” said agency president David Bohan. “We’re talking about how an independent’s personality—responsible, on-site management, consistency of service and the ability to deliver quick decisions—works in favor of the meeting planner.”

Bohan’s print work, tagged “Beyond business as usual,” breaks this month in trade publications including Successful Meetings, Conventions South and Meeting News.

Annual account billings are estimated at $1-2 million.

Bohan clearly outworked the competition to win the review.

“They wanted our customers’ names and about 50 other things,” said Flexman “They prepared a presentation based on our needs and what customers were saying about the property. They even propped the room. The other agencies showedup with creative they had done for other clients and spun it toward us.”

Research dictated that the new campaign avoid the “edifice complex” typical of hotel marketing.

“Everybody’s got a beautiful building, a ballroom, a talented chef,” Bohan said. “We had to take an approach that makes this hotel stand out.”