NEW YORK Merkley Newman Harty Interactive is launching the second leg of an online campaign tonight for Starwood Hotels & Resorts that promotes the "Weekenders" program at its W Hotels.
A series of ads encourage people to "Make your weekend a 48-hour vacation. Make it a W Weekenders." Other executions read, "Walk into a weekend of relaxation. Walk out with a free Armani Exchange Weekender Bag."
The effort, aimed at raising the profile of the "Weekenders" program at W Hotels, touts the high-end chain's accommodations and service, a $50 suite upgrade, a free continental breakfast, and a complimentary bag and $20 gift certificate from Armani Exchange.
Ads will run through August on Web sites such as CNN.com, Fodors.com, Evite.com and Bloomberg.com. Avenue A, a subsidiary of Seattle-based digital marketing and technology company aQuantive, handles the online media buying and planning for Starwood.
The first round of ads for W's "Weekenders," which broke earlier this summer, highlighted free in-room, high-speed Internet access. That effort was also from MNHi, the interactive subsidiary of Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty & Partners in New York.
MNHi, which has been working with Starwood for more than a year on various assignments, recently added duties for the White Plains, N.Y.-based company's preferred guest program. A new campaign breaking this week prompts people to become a preferred guest by promising, "No blackouts. No limits. No hassles." The ads, due to run through August on CBS Marketwatch, NYTimes.com, Forbes.com, BusinessWeek.com and Weather.com, feature images of exotic locales like Los Cabos, Bora Bora and Bali.
Starwood, owner of the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points and St. Regis properties, is currently conducting a review for its W Hotels' $2-3 million general ad account. Incumbent Grey's GWhiz in New York is defending. Other Starwood roster shops include Avrett Free & Ginsberg (St. Regis), J. Walter Thompson (Four Points) and Deutsch (Westin and Sheraton), all New York.