Chris Reed
Feb 17, 2015

Hilton tries to change business image with concert partnership

Hilton has created a partnership with leading concert promoter Live Nation to try and change their rather stuffy brand image to one that is cool, contemporary and in touch with Gen Y and Gen X, in fact anyone outside of the baby boomers generation. Good luck with that.

Hilton tries to change business image with concert partnership

This partnership gives their Hilton Honours (I'm spelling it the English way sorry) Members exclusive concerts, meet and greets and experiences by using their loyalty points. Hilton replaces Starwood who created a similar partnership and called it “SPG: Hear the Music, see The World”. They featured bands like Imagine Dragons and One Republic. That must have worked well.

Hilton kick off their partnership with a very un-Hilton like band, Paramore, doing a series of hotel concerts. Not sure many Hilton guests would know who Paramore is or is that my perception of Hilton Guests being old and not the rock concert going type? Would they all ask them to turn the noise down?

Hilton hotels will also be promoted via Live Nation's digital properties, including and, with Hilton rooms suggested under "Where to Stay" booking links in each concert's nearest city. Strangely artists who perform at Live Nation venues will be offered reduced rates for Hilton hotels, (as will Live Nation executives).

I can see Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch and Marilyn Manson giving that great consideration before booking. “Never mind the gig venue, am I getting the Presidential Suite at a discount and can i use my points to see Taylor Swift?”.

Hilton will also serve as the official hotel sponsor for 75 different Live Nation owned-and-operated venues, including the company's House of Blues franchise, which will allow hotel guests to purchase access to meet-and-greet and soundcheck experiences. Hilton will also be able to share content from those events on its social media profiles. Not quite seeing the connection here. Does someone who want to book a Hilton Hotel wish to see One Direction in concert in a Hilton video on Hilton’s facebook? Or are they looking for a cheap room?

Live Nation will be the content centrepiece of the "Hilton at Play" globaltagline, which attempts to position Hilton's 4,250 hotels as escape destinations for the overworked professional. "People work more than they ever have before," Live Nation’s spokesperson says, "and Live Nation hosts some 23,000 live events a year". Round peg in square hole?

Hilton is seen very much as a business brand and most of their hotels are in business locations. Would you stay at a Hilton to relax or would it remind you too much of work? I know that this is presumably what their brand research says, hence the new strapline but bolting on Live Nation because they are a “play” brand is a like bolting on ‘marijuana” and saying “hey you worked hard, now you can chill with us at the weekend”. Now that would be a cool partnership, man.

Really not sure I follow the logic myself. Most people don’t do what I do and travel to see my favourite band (14 hours I stayed in Hong Kong last year just to see Linkin Park as they weren’t touring Singapore) but when I do I don’t look at the hotel I look at the concert and then the hotel nearest the airport/concert venue.

Most people see concerts on their doorstep and don’t travel to see them apart from for festivals where I could see a link if Hilton had a string of venues next to festivals - but they don’t. The Glastonbury Hilton anyone?

I would be interested to find out of the 23,000 Live Nation events exactly how many people travel to see them v’s see them locally. Most acts travel across multiple cities to cater for demand especially in North America where Hilton have most of their venues.

Well they do if they’re not touring Asia where we are lucky to get any decent rock act. Now if Hilton could bring a series of rock acts to us over here in Singapore I would be eternally grateful and I may even stay in one of their hotels but only if I had to. "To see Linkin Park you must stay in a Hilton". Ok.

I would be more interested to find out how many of the 40 million Hilton Honours members say that they would travel to watch a concert and stay in a Hilton in the process. I would also be interested in how many go to concerts, (rock and pop concerts not classical ones that Live Nation put on), on a regular basis. I’m betting very few.

I would also be fascinated to find out what the Hilton Honours members thought of the strapline “Hilton at Play” which seems more like a Durex strapline. Now Durex would be a more logical brand partnership for Hilton. Ironically not quite as sexy as live concerts though and not many mutual discounts to be gained.

Campaign Asia

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