Targeted Messaging Lures Travelers Back to Beachside Retreat

Ad Campaign for Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
Targeted messaging lures travelers back to their favorite beachside retreat
“This is THAT Place” integrated campaign makes a beachside resort stand out from the crowd


To make the Hilton Sandestin, a large, full-service corporate brand hotel, stand out from a sea of charming beach rentals and high-end independent resorts by strengthening its image as a unique, world-class beach vacation destination—as “THAT Place” in travelers’


Capitalizing upon the strong affinity the repeat customers have for the resort (over 60% of leisure guests are repeat visitors), the campaign sought to recall the nostalgia with which we remember a beach vacation. And rather than sell to every audience with a single message, we recognized that different guests seek different experiences in their resort stay and crafted our messages to each.

We launched the print and digital ad campaign in conjunction with a complete website redesign to create integrated campaign support. In developing the visuals and messaging, we defined six personas to guide the creative process. These personas, based on extensive demographic and geographic profiling and past guest data, aligned with important subsets of the property’s key audiences and provided a deeper level of insight into the motivational drivers of each. They included the following:

  • Families
  • Retirees
  • Multi-generational leisure guests
  • Meetings professionals
  • Brides
  • Association employees

We evaluated publications for alignment with the target audiences and placed ads based around seasonal needs. We also placed online advertising in the resort’s target markets around keyword campaigns based on demographic insight pulled from Google Analytics, Google Adwords and the Brightedge SEO platform. And to bring it all together, we integrated the campaign branding cohesively through all distribution channels, including print and online advertising, email, on-property signage and the website,

The site is now one of the leading referral sites to the Hilton booking engine


Following the campaign’s launch, we saw a 21% increase in unique visitors to the resort website and a whopping 25% increase in meeting RFP submissions. On top of that, 59% percent of web traffic now arrives through organic search. And conversions? The site is now one of the leading referral sites to the Hilton booking engine. The proof is in the bookings.


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