Merkley Interactive Designs Starwood Honeymoon Registry

NEW YORK Starwood Hotels & Resorts has launched an online honeymoon registry in an effort to capture a larger share of the newlywed market, which is estimated at more than $4 billion annually in the U.S.

The e-registry was designed and developed by Merkley Interactive, which has also created an online marketing program running on WeddingChannel.com to support the initiative.

At the site (www.spghoneymoon.com), newlyweds-to-be can register for honeymoons at one of Starwood’s 740 St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Westin, W, Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton hotels around the world. Couples can also access hotel slide shows and property and destination information. Once registered, friends and family can contribute “honeymoney” to the trip in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $200.

“The business goal is to be able to cater to a segment of individuals that we haven’t been able to cater to in the past, the honeymoon segment. It’s the trip in the U.S. that people wait for their entire lives, and people expect and should expect a higher level of service, detail and attention,” said Jennifer Hyman, manager of luxury and honeymoon strategy for White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood.

A three-year partnership with WeddingChannel.com will help Starwood target brides-to-be, who were previously difficult to identify. The marketing alliance entails advertising throughout the site, inclusion in the site’s honeymoon section and e-mail marketing.

Merkley Interactive, the digital marketing subsidiary of Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners in New York, has worked on various assignments for Starwood over the past two years. As for the i-shop’s performance on this project, Hyman said, “They’ve really hit it out of the park. Their creativity and teamwork around this has been fantastic.”