SURVEY: Luxury print ads need improvement

13th Sep 2006

In the first Luxury Ad Effectiveness Index for Luxury Hotels just released by the New York based Luxury Institute wealthy consumers say that many top-rated brands need to get the effectiveness of their print advertising to equal their brand stature. advertising to equal their brand stature.In this breakthrough survey, a statistically valid panel of wealthy consumers rated 17 competitive print ads that ran during the first six months of 2006 and beyond in the Luxury Hotels category. Each ad was rated and ranked on fundamental communication metrics, as well as its ability to influence brand and product reputation, brand purchase, and recommendation.

The top position in the 2006 Hotels LAEI is shared by two ads: Four Seasons Hawaii “What Will You Remember?” and RockResorts “Ten Unique Destinations.” Both ads achieve top LAEI scores, followed by Mandarin Oriental’s “Fantastic Rooms” ad.

Four Seasons Hawaii is the top ranked advertisement in terms of “likeability.” Respondents associate the message with beautiful scenery and with golf. They like the ad’s photography and the “clean” image. This ad is also seen as the most unique and the most appropriate for its brand.

RockResorts’ “Ten Unique Destinations” is the second most-liked advertisement. Respondents “like the feeling” they get from the ad. They also appreciate the photography and the simplicity of the ad (i.e. that it is “not too cluttered”). This ad’s message is perceived as the most relevant and meaningful, and the ad leaves the viewer with the most favorable opinion of the brand after seeing it.

The top three ads in the LAEI are also the highest ranked for their ability to influence purchase consideration and willingness to recommend the hotel. The RockResorts ad is clearly the ad most likely to influence purchase consideration, while the Four Seasons Hawaii ad ranks just ahead of RockResorts on the ability to encourage word of mouth recommendations from affluent consumers.


Here are comments about the Four Seasons ad from the collective wisdom of wealthy people who give rewards, not awards, by voting with their wallets:

—“Four Seasons holds up to the high expectation it always has had. Great ad!!”

—“The amazing view of the golf course and ocean in the picture…that says it all”

—“Hawaii is my favorite place on earth-It does a great job of expressing the breathtaking views of the islands, and also the unique golf on the islands”

—“The view and the question at the bottom tell me something without a lot of garbage words!”

“Wealthy consumers, the most educated and most discerning segment of consumers, have very definite views on how effective the print ads that are aimed at them really are,” said Milton F. Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “We are in an era of “Co-creation” where prospects and consumers can contribute a great deal to the development of brand communication via their candid feedback. Our new independent LAEI surveys are designed to deliver a constructive, quantitative dashboard of competitive print ads for Luxury Hotel firms to measure ad effectiveness directly from the voice of the wealthy consumer. In our other surveys, wealthy consumers have rated the Luxury Hotels industry the most innovative in terms of products and service. The enthusiastic reception that this new survey has received from Luxury Hotel CEOs globally indicates that this open- minded and adaptive category will embrace unbiased print ad ratings from wealthy consumers as readily as they have our other objective and independent surveys from the voice of the wealthy consumer.”

Seventeen print ads were rated including: Fairmont: “Time To Forget”, Four Seasons Hawaii: “Remember”, Four Seasons World: “Remember”, Intercontinental: “Be an Expert…”, Leading Hotels of the World: “400 Hotels”, Loews: “Check Out Destinations…”, Mandarin Oriental: “Fantastic Rooms…”, Mandarin Oriental: “He’s a Fan”, Mandarin Oriental: “She’s a Fan”, Peninsula Group: “Portraits Of Peninsula”, Ritz-Carlton: “A City Works Its Magic”, Ritz-Carlton: “A Plan Not To Have a Plan…”

Ritz-Carlton: “Experiencing the Healthful…”, RockResorts: “Ten Unique Destinations”, Rosewood: “There Are No Formulas…”, St. Regis: “The Highest Expression…”, and W Hotels: “The Warmth of Cool”.

A nationally representative sample of wealthy consumers was surveyed online, with a 50% female and 50% male split. Respondents had an average household income of $244k and average net worth of $1.5m. At least 100 respondents rated each ad.


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