'The Stories Begin Here' campaign, also running in the United States, the United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates, features award-winning actress and 'Bond girl' Olga Kurylenko in three print ads. Shot on location at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago by fashion photographer Bruno Dayan, the print execution exemplifies "caught moments", or “vignettes”, adapted from a commissioned short story by British author Simon Van Booy.
The story is entitled The Escape Artist that further engages consumers on a dedicated parallax website with a behind-the-scenes video and interactive content. These still and video assets of the campaign span print, digital and social channels.
In the campaign, Kurylenko plays a character named Alexandra, created exclusively for her by Van Booy as a young, successful and well-travelled couturier who spends time experiencing "unforgettable moments" at a Waldorf Astoria hotel. These include her arrival and chance encounter in the lobby; her moment of inspiration en suite; and a relaxing moment in the hotel's spa.
H. Stuart Foster, vice president of marketing of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, said this is a "truly innovative" marketing and communications plan as it is a first in the luxury hospitality industry to bring together a writer, an actor and a photographer. The three artists ideated and developed the campaign as a unified team on set.
Kurylenko, a Ukrainian-born actress, was chosen for her international appeal and sophisticated elegance. In 2008, she shot to international fame as the co-star opposite Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace. Most recently, she starred as in Oblivion opposite Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. She is currently filming the female lead opposite Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner.
The next chapter of the campaign will continue to tell Alexandra's story, and is scheduled to be produced in early 2015 at another Waldorf Astoria property.
Waldorf Astoria is a luxury hotel brand under Hilton Worldwide with presence in destinations such as New York, Shanghai, Rome, Berlin and Panama City. Hilton will open more hotels in Asia Pacific (Beijing, Chengdu, Hainan and Bangkok) by 2017, adding to its current flagship property in the region—the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.