Waldorf Towers Books Monday Radio To Escape from Travel Section Clutter

How do you convince affluent suburbanites to spend Sunday night in a hotel suite in Manhattan? One way is to reach them on the Radio Monday morning -- either on the way to work or in the office.
That's what the Waldorf-Astoria does to promote Sunday night stayovers in the Waldorf Towers suites-only section of the hotel. Promising that "you'll be more interesting on Monday" after a weekend visit in the city, the commercial features a special $319 rate for specific Sunday night suites.
Like most hotels, the Waldorf had traditionally advertised its weekend suite offers in Sunday newspaper travel sections or 'weekend' sections. But, says Tom Cook, executive vice president, creative director at Pedone & Partners, the hotel's agency, "they are grouped there with a bunch of other like hotels all offering other rates and deals."
The agency decided to try a new approach -- running on four New York market Radio stations during morning drive on Mondays and Tuesdays "when weekends are still very powerfully in their minds." It was important "that you can buy Radio time exactly when it's going to have an impact on people. With print, you don't know when people are going to read the Sunday paper. Some people read it later in that week, and that wouldn't work for us."
Radio, Cook continues, "was a way to paint a picture in people's minds, which is tough to do in a quarter-page or a half-page newspaper ad. Here we were able to create different scenarios with different couples meeting different people and doing different things." In one example, two office co-workers meet in an elevator and one recounts going to the Museum of Modern Art and meeting a Chinese ambassador.
Although results are still being evaluated, Cook reports that "15 minutes after the first spot ran the first morning of the campaign, the calls were coming in." The Waldorf, he adds, is considering using Radio for some other areas of the hotel, such as its restaurants.