Hotels are selling Ideas- not Hotels

Hotels everywhere use magazines as a means to attract potential vacationers.  Even if the middle-class worker, probably aged anywhere between 35 and 65, wasn’t looking to take a vacation, these ads definitely attempt to entice them.


Advertisement for Aston Hotels & Resorts from the September/October 2016 Islands

Most of the ads examined used very calming and relaxing tones to attract an audience.  This would result in a very picturesque scene.  The colors also entice the viewer by using a calming blue.  Throughout almost every print ad that was analyzed, blue was the dominant trend.  This is most likely because most of these ads are produced for hotels that are based in beachy resorts.  Going further, these ads attempt to increase the beachy vibe even more by using calligraphic scripts, for example in the Beaches Resort ad and the Aston hotels and resorts ad.  Other hotels, however, use serif fonts to induce a regal and luxurious experience.  These fonts are used to describe “5-Star Cruising” (The Moorings) and “A Better You” (Westin).


Advertisement for The Peninsula Hotels from the October 2016 Condé Nast Traveler




Advertisement for Westin Hotels and Resorts from the October 2016 Condé Nast Traveler

The format of these advertisements vary, especially when they are geared towards different audiences.  For example, The Peninsula hotels advertisement has a very simplistic look.  It uses white space effectively, drawing the eye directly to the photo’s painting, and then to the tag-line underneath.  This message “sells” the hotel, and encourages the audience to research more into what a “Peninsula Moment” could be.  This simplistic design is more elegant, and attracts an older audience.  However, advertisements like Beaches Resorts’ is more cluttered.  While this advertisement features more of what the resort offers, it deterrs the elegant audience that Peninsula hotels draws.  Instead, the many features would attract a younger family, perhaps with children, who would be interested in the many options available to them.  Beaches attracts more families by including “Voted #1 All-Inclusive Family Resorts” as their eye-catching slogan.  This is a sure-fire method to attract a family crowd.  At the same time, this ad has too much information to take in at once.  The many pictures are only cohesive by being next to each other, and the small text at the bottom has too much information to be digested at once.


Advertisement for The Moorings from the September/October 2016 Islands

This leads to the various issues that have been found regarding advertisements for hotels.  The overarching color scheme of blue is, at times, overwhelming.  The fact that most hotels are using this cerulean blue as their primary color over saturates the market for beach hotels.  Each advertisement provides the same product: a beach.  These hotels are sacrificing individuality and the ability to be unique by sticking with the same, telling, overused blue.  While this does induce the overall atmosphere of a fun, beachy vacation, it becomes boring and over-worn for the audience.

These advertisements also fall into the habit of not selling the actual hotel (or cruise line).  Instead, they are selling an idealized version of the vacation.  These advertisements are telling their audiences that this is the vacation they could have, but often disregard anything specific that the resort might offer.  Instead of highlighting the unique rooms or programs that these hotels offer, they highlight general beachy experiences, which could (theoretically) be experienced in any hotel along the coast.


Advertisement for Beaches Resorts by Sandals from the September/October 2016 Islands

Because of this, the advertisements for hotels/resorts don’t do more than bring the audience a general awareness about the product they are selling.  The audience is only enticed by the prospect of a beach, not the prospect of the quality of the hotel that is being advertised.

This entry was posted in Blog #2. Researching Print Advertisements, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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