Booking.com’s spooky new campaign

Booking.com has created a Halloween-themed campaign, focusing on a selection of hotels in the US that you can book through the website which are all supposedly haunted…

Booking.com has created a Halloween-themed campaign, focusing on a selection of hotels in the US that you can book through the website which are all supposedly haunted…

The campaign, created by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, has its own website at booking.com/haunted. On there, visitors can find information about the individual hotels, and the ghosties that reside there. They can also download posters for each one, which are designed to look like horror movie advertising. To add authenticity to the poster design, W+K approached renowned movie-poster illustrator Akiko Stehrenberger to create the works. Here are a selection of them:

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s seminal horror story (and Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation), The Shining.

The Historic National Hotel in Jamestown, California, is supposedly haunted by bride-to-be Flo, whose fiancé was killed in a fight before they could marry. Flo was then found dead in her room in the hotel, with her heart apparently stopped by grief. She now haunts the hotel in a rather petulant manner, slamming doors and tossing guests’ clothes out of their suitcases.

The Gettysburg Hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was in its past a Civil War hospital. It is now supposedly haunted by both dead soldiers and a ghostly nurse.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, has the dubious honour of being America’s most haunted hotel, with a least eight wraiths rattling around it.

Accompanying the posters is a TV spot, also shot in the style of a horror movie. The ad is centred on the Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, originally a school, which is supposedly haunted by the former headmistress, Miss Mary. Miss Mary hangs around suite 410 in the hotel, where she is known to tuck travellers into bed.

All the posters, along with more detailed info on the hotels and their ghosts, can be viewed on the bespoke site, at booking.com/haunted. Stills from the site are shown below. To appeal to horror movie fans, the posters will appear in selected movie theatre lobbies across the US from this weekend.

The attention to detail is what makes this campaign really stand out, from the beautiful poster design to the tagline, ‘Stay if you dare’. In fact, the only thing that jars in the campaign is, ironically enough, the Booking.com logo, which looks like it could have used its own horror-style makeover. But perhaps messing with the logo was just too frightening a prospect (see what I’ve done there?) for the client this time. Otherwise, lovely stuff.

Credits:
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
ECDs: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Creative directors: Zach Watkins, Gen Hoey
Creatives: Craig Williams, Zach Watkins
Interactive creative director: Edu Pou
Interactive creatives: Max Gebhardt, Max Arlestig
Film production company: Concrete Films
Director: Mark Bernath
Poster illustrator: Akiko Stehrenberger

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