Delta launches ‘Expect Even More’ as foreign competitors flood the airwaves

Delta wants Canada to remember its biggest hotel chain

Hotel giant Delta launched a new national branding campaign Thursday in a bid to boost awareness of upgrades to their business.

“Expect Even More,” which appears on major broadcast networks and online, is meant to send the message that the 52-year-old hotel and resort chain offers consumers a new experience, rather than just a good night’s sleep.

Created by Olson Canada, the campaign’s first 30-second spot features a number of different hotel guests checking in, enjoying a glass of wine with dinner on a balcony, and exploring the sunlit lobby and glass-enclosed staircase of Delta Ottawa City Centre – an old hotel that Delta bought, gutted and completely renovated two years ago.

Online vignettes explore guests’ particular stories – whether they’re traveling on business or for a romantic getaway – in more depth, says Olson Canada creative director Geoff Lee.

Delta has an interesting problem: although it’s the largest hotel chain in the country (41 locations coast-to-coast), few people know it. “Delta has been a quiet brand for some time,” says Charles McKee, vice-president of marketing for the hotelier.

It recently added new properties and revamped existing locations with new room designs and services. The brand expects its new flagship – the 567-room Delta Toronto that’s set to open in the city’s financial area in late November – to raise its profile. The location will showcase Canadian art in its public spaces and sport a green roof. The new campaign lays the groundwork for that, says McKee.

With many international travel companies buying Canadian airtime right now – Hotels.com’s “Captain Obvious” campaign among others – and guest demographics changing, Delta is feeling the imperative to differentiate itself. The opportunity is there, says McKee, based on research that Delta has conducted over the past two years.

“A takeaway was that there is a tremendous sea of sameness out there in the hotel sector,” says McKee. Rather than use a gimmick to sell its brand, however, Delta is aiming to define itself around four down-to-earth brand pillars: elevated, genuine, personalized and local.

“We really tried to infuse the ad with a sense of humanity,” he says.

The chain is also aware of the shift in guest demographics and psychographics. There is a shift toward younger travellers (hence the traction of meme-ready Captain Obvious for Hotels.com) and more female business travellers, as well as more inter-generational guests – grandparents travelling with grandchildren. There is also more discretionary and aspirational travel, and guests have more social and hobby interests.

“Ultimately, this is about extending our reach and reaching out to new segments,” says McKee.

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