While vacationing at the Sheraton Maui Resort, a man finds a
ring. In the following days, he meets a beautiful girl, only to
find out that the ring belongs to her. The ring brings them
together and they fall madly in love.
Then there’s the story about the man who gets to spend time with
his daughter while his ex-wife is away on business. He takes her to
the Westin Maui Resort and Spa, where the girl is transformed and
they rejuvenate their relationship.
Too good to be true? Perhaps. But these feel-good scenarios are
examples of the latest travel agent sales innovation from Starwood
Hotels and Resorts Hawaii, which has created seven DVDs about
specific island properties.
Each Starwood DVD contains a clever short film with a story line
set to the backdrop of the particular property. Five to 10 minutes
long, it demonstrates the chemistry that clients might discover at
the hotel, while showcasing the resort’s services, facilities and
offerings. The DVDs are intended not only for travel agents but
meeting planners and consumers, said Cheryl Williams, regional vice
president of sales and marketing for Starwood in Hawaii.
“The use of short films within sales tools has been deployed in
other industries, but Starwood Hawaii is on the forefront of the
travel industry in using this innovative combination of
entertainment and communication of product,” said Williams. “The
films result from the creative energy of our advertising agency,
the talents of numerous production companies here in Hawaii and
Starwood Hawaii’s eagerness to get our message across via
According to Williams, the story lines are a far cry from the
standard hotel sales videos that highlight a property’s features
via commercial footage. Starwood’s short films aim to draw the
viewer into the story to experience the properties in a more
involved and emotional way, she said.
In one scenario, a nine-year-old boy from Japan meets a
nine-year-old boy from the U.S. while vacationing at the Sheraton
Princess Kaiulani. Through a series of silly mishaps, the two boys
get to know each other, share cultural experiences and end up
becoming buddies for life.
In another story line, a defeated high-fashion New York designer
flees the criticism of a cruel and unforgiving public and escapes
to the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa, where she finds
inspiration again in the quiet beauty which surrounds her.
One premise involves vacationers at the Honolulu International
Airport learning that their flight has been delayed until the next
day. Two strangers a free-spirited young woman and an uptight
businesswoman meet at the Royal Hawaiian and share a day of
adventure and self-discovery.
Then there’s the tale of the little girl who loses her favorite
stuffed toy during a family vacation in Hawaii. Picked up by
different vacationers, the toy shares the experiences of the
travelers as they take part in the many family-friendly activities
available at the oceanfront Sheraton Waikiki.
The history of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider is captured in a story
about a young woman who finds a trinket box filled with memories.
She retraces her grandparents’ romance by experiencing the hotel
“This was our initial launch schedule for our properties,” said
Williams. “We hope to have additional films for our other Hawaii
Following the feature presentation, each DVD provides an
introduction to the hotel, its rooms, meetings facilities, dining
options, amenities, activities and Web site. Viewers can select the
information they need and watch a short video edit of that topic.
Each DVD features live links to Starwood Web sites for more
Starwood also plans to place the movie content on each property’s
Web site, and they will run it on Internet sites like
Video.Google.com and YouTube.com. According to Williams, Starwood
can track the success of the project through the total online
revenue generated from Web sites that house the DVD content, as
well as from click-throughs from the links on the DVDs
“The technological richness of our DVDs will allow us to determine
how much business is being generated and where the business is
coming from,” she said.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ new, complimentary sales DVDs are
available from seven Starwood Hawaii properties, including: the
Sheraton Maui Resort and Westin Maui Resort and Spa; the Royal
Hawaiian, Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Waikiki and Sheraton
Princess Kaiulani on Oahu; and the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and
Spa on the Big Island. Travel agents can also request the DVDs
online via Starwood’s travel agent Web site. After a quick
registration, they can order copies of the DVDs and hotel
brochures, as well as take advantage of exclusive travel agent
offers and programs.