Mayer Sees Sonesta Hotels as Places to ‘Exhale’

Peter A. Mayer Ad-vertising has launched a national branding campaign aimed at consumers and the travel industry for Sonesta International Hotel Corp.

A series of “Exhale” print ads broke this month in national and regional editions of Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Smithsonian and The New York Times’ Sophisticated Traveler. Targeted trade work will also appear in travel agent and meetings publications.

The campaign is slated to run two years, according to Mark Mayer, president of the New Orleans shop. The budget is undisclosed.

” ‘Exhale’ really speaks to the brand’s strength,” said Sandi Jones, corporate director of marketing and advertising for the Boston-based client. “We allow guests to be themselves in an environment of genuine, personal service.”

The hotel chain, which operates properties in Boston, Miami, New Orleans, Anguilla in the West Indies, Bermuda, Egypt, Italy and Peru, is targeting upscale achievers who shun the clichéd trappings of luxury, according to Mayer.

“These are guests who gravitate to a place where they can be themselves,” he said.

Mayer said it was the thought of luxe accommodations without the obsequiousness of certain hotel competitors that generated the “Exhale” theme.

“It’s one word that captures the feeling you get in a place where you can get away without the stuffiness of a typical upscale hotel,” he said.

The ad effort features photographs taken in extreme close-up or cropped in unusual ways to reflect a strong sense of emotion.

In “Temporary Am-nesia,” a soft-focus color shot of a woman in a hammock reveals a bent elbow and a smile of sated joy.

“You’re not seeing where she is,” Mayer said. “But the ad conveys the complete relaxation of someone completely comfortable with herself.”