Sheraton Ads Try A Different Key

Celine Dion sings for Chrysler. Toby Keith wrote a song for Ford. And Coca-Cola is all over American Idol. Unlike those recent blockbuster brand-entertainment unions, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ foray into music tie-ins centers on a largely unknown, five-man rock combo from San Diego.

The company’s 200-hotel Sheraton chain, which is featuring the group Convoy in a new $20 million campaign by Deutsch in New York, chose the band because its playful style and musicianship are expected to jell with, but not outshine, the brand, said Florence Buchanan, shop svp, group creative director. It is a different tune from that of other, larger marketer-and-music tie-ins, such as Chrysler’s multimillion-dollar deal with Dion or Microsoft’s estimated $1 million hook-up with Lollapalooza (see page 12).

Sheraton’s six-month effort, which broke last week, features three TV spots that show Convoy cavorting and rehearsing in the hotel and waving from the balconies of their rooms. The band’s cover of the Rolling Stones classic “Let’s Spend the Night Together” (also the campaign’s tagline) connects the spots.

The ads introduce hotel updates such as renovated rooms and better service, said Sharon Rothstein, Sheraton evp of global brand marketing, noting Convoy’s cover is “the best call to action in the category.”

“The idea was about redefining a classic,” said Buchanan, who partnered with svp, gcd Evelyn Monroe Neill to help create Deutsch’s first work for the client since it won Starwood in January 2002.