Race begins for luxury hotel chain’s ad account

The starting gun has been fired for one of the region’s most prestigious advertising accounts.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  July 24, 2005

The starting gun has been fired for one of the region’s most prestigious advertising accounts. Up for grabs is the brief for newly rebranded hotel chain Jumeirah, the company behind Dubai icons such as the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Towers. In an interview with Campaign Middle East, chief sales and marketing officer Bill Walshe said: “It’s certainly the largest single campaign in the history of our company.” Over the rest of this year, Jumeirah is spending AED30 million (US$8.2 million) on its rebranding, of which about half will be on advertising. As well as the Burj and Emirates Towers, Jumeirah’s portfolio includes the Madinat and Carlton Tower in the UK. It aims to have a portfolio of 40 top class hotels around the world by 2010. But Walshe warned that if local agencies want to win the business, they will need to prove they can take a worldview. He said: “What we are going to be looking for in any agency that pitches for this business is an agency that demonstrates the ability to create an internationalisation of the Jumeirah brand. “Sometimes with Dubai-based agencies, because they see the Burj every day, they themselves have a parochial, subjective view. “To win our business, any agency is going to have to show the ability to stand back from our brand and view it as an international brand, and with objectivity, almost without reference to the history of the brand. “We need an agency that can best envisage our plan of 40 hotels within five years and a multi-continental spread, and communicate that now, before it happens.” Nicolas Ghrayeb, Jumeirah’s director of marketing, said that, while the media buying would be done by local agencies in each market, advertising would be centralised. Speaking of the first campaign since the rebrand, he said: “It will be a mixed media approach. We will select TV networks as being core channels to broaden our message and we will look at print, especially within high-end consumer lifestyle glossy titles.” A shortlist of two or three agencies will eventually enter a formal pitch process for the business. The focus of the “Stay different” international campaign will be upon the key markets of the UK, Germany, GCC, Russia and the US. The rebranding of Jumeirah was unveiled at the end of June, including a new logo. Jumeirah, which is part of Dubai Holding, may also launch a spin-off brand. Walshe said: “I can see opportunities coming along that are not appropriate for the Jumeirah brand. So I can see the likelihood of introducing another brand.”

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