When Mexican vacation and hospitality company Original Group invested $54 million to relaunch Temptation Cancun Resort, one of the first hotels in Cancun, in December 2017, the company engaged Newlink for a 22-month communications campaign. In preparing for the effort, the agency outlined a set of specific objectives to reach key industry and consumer audiences, which included:
- Developing a multi-faceted communications strategy that would succeed in re-launching Temptation to a new 21+ adult clientele as well as positioning the property as a world leader in the adults-only hospitality sector
- Maintaining the interest and loyalty of former clientele during the property’s demolition and rebuilding process, following a very specific communications timeline that responded effectively to the different phases of the project (farewell, expectation and welcome)
- Educating targeted 21+ adult consumers and key industry members about the property’s newly-enhanced concept and extensive entertainment offering
Read on to see how Newlink achieved and exceeded the goals of the campaign with a multi-tiered campaign rollout that helped to reposition Original Group’s hotel brand—earning the firm and its client a Bronze Award in the “Best Brand Launch” category in Bulldog Reporter’s 2018 PR Awards.
For Temptation’s rebranding launch, Newlink developed a thorough strategic planning using its proprietary Orbital Strategy methodology, a collaborative process that helps organizations navigate today’s evolving landscape. This session was comprised of extensive research and analysis to discover the resort’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, stakeholders and target actors.
The campaign team started by analyzing the history of the company and its situation prior to the renovation—being perceived as a raunchy vacation option that was unappealing to women and with an audience comprised of 80 percent men—its business model, competitive set, culture and team, strategy and vision and branding. Through this research, Newlink outlined desired outcomes and developed tailored and consistent messaging to elevate Temptation’s original concept, while still maintaining its iconic electrifying vibe.
The resulting strategic platform was anchored in an all-new positioning concept for Temptation as the “Playground for Grown-Ups,” promoting a fun and sensual experience complemented by superior entertainment, gastronomic and accommodation offerings.
They also established the following 3 pillars to be integrated into communications efforts, based on differentiators and relevant topics for key audiences:
- Playground Ambience – casual interaction yet deep connection with other guests, freedom, exploration, self-discovery, participative fun.
- Daring Makeover – multi-million-dollar investment to enhance facilities, amenities and look & feel under the sensual minimalism concept.
- Top Adult Experience – sensual, chic, safe, comfortable, stimulating, innovative, highest hospitality standards to attract global travelers.
Newlink developed supporting documents to establish the new brand identity and the base of its media relations execution, including:
- Tone of Voice Guide – Development of a Brand-Guest Relationship Assessment to illustrate the rapport of Temptation’s brand on behalf of the guest’s voice, presented on a rational and emotional level.
- Copy considerations with sample vocabulary – suggested words to use when describing the property.
The project followed a three-phase timeline:
- FAREWELL – inform existing clientele about the upcoming resort demolition and generate excitement for the new property.
- EXPECTATION – build momentum for the grand reopening, and attract potential new clients
- WELCOME – maximize visibility for the resort’s enhanced offering and support sales.
A barrier the team encountered was the way Temptation was being perceived by the media. “Due to the avant-garde nature of the brand, it was difficult to create a solid positioning and a relevant roll-out without falling out of boundaries,” Teresa Villarreal, senior vice president at Newlink says. “The Orbital Strategy we developed for the brand helped us to guide the client through the demolition to relaunching process and have a very clear path to position the property as a world leader in the adults-only hospitality sector.” She offers some other challenges they faced:
- “Maintaining the interest and loyalty of former clientele during the property’s demolition and rebuilding process, following a very specific communications timeline that responded effectively to the different phases of the project (farewell, expectation and welcome).”
- “Educating targeted 21+ adult consumers and key industry members about the property’s newly-enhanced concept and extensive entertainment offering.”
- “Persuading mainstream journalists to provide coverage about Temptation as a lifestyle property. We strategically constructed a database of diverse trade and consumer journalist profiles who would consider covering the resort. Results were great, as we were able to coordinate various editorial opportunities and press trips that resulted in top-tier coverage.”
Also, female audiences were not appealed to and felt uncomfortable about the overall resort experience. To overcome these barriers, Newlink fashioned an execution plan to relaunch the brand. “We developed a ‘Brand Personality Chart,’ where through the new Temptation’s voice and tone, we assured that each person within our target audience felt comfortable with the idea of visiting a resort,” Villarreal conveys. “This was very helpful to allow us to engage with those who were less likely to consider a visit to Temptation.” Other parts of the plan included:
- Brand Personality Chart – Through the new Temptation’s voice and tone, we assured that each person within our target audience felt comfortable in their own skin, enticing them into the playground mentality, where they can manifest their inner curiosity.
- Strategic content development to communicate the brand’s new attributes and product enhancements using the curated vocabulary guide.
- Ongoing distribution of media materials based on the 3-phase timeline and positioning concept.
- Development of solid relationships with top-tier media to reach their target audience, including a special emphasis on women’s interest publications.
- Coordination of press visits to experience the new Temptation Resort Cancun firsthand.
- Execution of a well-developed social media strategy and digital campaign to increase brand awareness and reach niche market segments.
- Securing interview opportunities for key organization spokespeople.
- Supporting the participation of the sales team in industry trade shows.
The female audience was a core target of the execution, and the team centered part of the tactics in attracting them. They also aimed at Vacation Club members—the brand’s most loyal and enthusiastic audience—to help rebuild a strong clientele base for the property.
The strategic planning developed for Temptation gave Original Group a clear direction to launch the new brand, as they were encouraged to rethink assumptions, open new possibilities and change the way they conducted and promoted their business.
The execution plan succeeded in creating a stronger brand positioning for the new resort as the Playground for Grown-Ups: a trendy hotel offering life-changing experiences and a non-stop party. The slogan proposed by Newlink has been fully integrated in all of Temptation’s marketing and branding materials.
Reservations kept coming in according to schedule and, by the opening time in August 2017, occupancy rates were at 78 percent, and remained constant for the following months. The new Temptation offers rates that are 32 percent higher than before, and today’s guest is more sophisticated, with a higher income profile.
“As a result of featuring Temptation in several top-tier women’s interest publications, we achieved a better connection between the resort and the female audience,” says Villarreal. “We are very proud to see that today the female ratio is 35 percent (in comparison to the 20 percent ratio prior to the renovation) and they visibly feel more comfortable and attracted to the new resort concept.”
To kick off the official grand reopening, Newlink successfully executed a group press trip with eight journalists from women’s interest, lifestyle and consumer travel publications that included Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Fodor’s and Sun Media. Afterwards, Newlink coordinated an individual trip per month to the resort to continue exposing the new Temptation to all target publications. Additionally, the agency secured remarkable media coverage from pitching efforts in various top-tier publications, such as New York Post, Forbes, Toronto Sun, Huffington Post, Thrillist and Glamour.
By the end of the campaign, Newlink had reached over 261,000,000 media and industry professionals and generated more than $2,600,000 worth of coverage for the new Temptation, providing an ROI of 11 percent for the brand.
Innovation & Creativity
“The development of a strong positioning concept that became the slogan of the new property—The Playground for Adults—was the key element on the campaign’s success,” Villarreal offers. “Since its launch, this concept / slogan has been extensively used around the property, in note pads, cup holders, pencils and even the Code of Conduct within the property was renamed as a Playbook that delimited the Playground Rules. Also, a strong emphasis on tailored messaging and curated vocabulary was essential to communicate the brand’s new attributes and product enhancements and effectively generate interest from our target audience.”
Newlink delivered the following creative and innovative elements during the campaign related to the brand’s concept and media relations:
- Elaborated Temptation’s new and innovative positioning concept and slogan “Playground for Grown-Ups.” The concept fully describes the provocative yet playful ambiance of the property, which sets it apart from other adult-only hotels in the world. The new slogan has been fully integrated throughout all aspects of the property including its various “playgrounds” (i.e. the Sexy Pool and BASH nightclub) and in branded materials (i.e. cupholders and room keys).
- Strategically constructed a database of diverse trade and consumer journalist profiles that would consider writing about Temptation. Although the focus consisted in reaching writers with similar backgrounds and writing topics, Newlink made sure to contact those outlets and journalists that had not yet covered a hotel of this category to ensure reaching new audiences. Evidently, through this strategy, the agency was able to not only secure top-tier coverage for the hotel, but also coordinate various press visits.
- During the Expectation phase, Newlink produced a Virtual Reality (VR) experience using renderings of the property to allow a more realistic understanding of what the new Temptation would look and feel like. This VR experience was offered mainly in trade shows Temptation representatives participated in.
- The new Temptation concept was so successful that the company decided recently to charter a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and reflag it for a week as Temptation Cruise, departing from South Florida.
Secrets of Success
Villarreal provides some tips your firm can use in its next brand launch campaign—revealing why Newlink was awarded a Bronze in Bulldog’s 2018 PR Awards:
- Use your brand’s personality and unique selling proposition to grab the attention of your target audience. “At the same time, align it with the target audience’s demographics to execute it brilliantly.”
- Before developing your communications strategy, conduct a thorough research on your brand. “This helps you dive deep into its current situation and uncover strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This way, you can more effectively anchor a positioning concept aligned with what is true to the brand and its desired outcomes.”