A Tipsy Time With the Half-Naked Bellboy

Vegas hotel Cosmopolitan’s edgy take on the luggage lad is only the latest incarnation of a branding icon

Headshot of Robert Klara

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel that has over two stars, you’ve already met him. But heck, even if you’ve only seen it in the movies, we all know what happens when you drop your bags at the front desk. Turn around, and the bellboy is taking your suitcase in hand. Chances are, he’s wearing a red cap, brass buttons and striped trousers (well, hold a moment on the trousers). The getups vary, but the job never has. Bellboys lift the luggage, fetch the messages, deliver the flowers. Whatever thankless, menial thing needs doing, they stand at the ready. It’s not surprising, then, that advertisers have historically given the burdened bellhop yet another job to do: convey the messages of quality and cheerful service for brands.

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.