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HSMAI’S Prestigious Adrian Awards Presented at Record-setting Gala in New York City

  • 02.01.08
The 18th annual Adrian Awards Gala was presented before a record-setting attendance of 1,004 top industry professionals on Monday night in New York City.

The black-tie extravaganza, that celebrates travel and hospitality marketing excellence, was presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

During the Adrian Awards, renowned as the Oscars of travel and hospitality marketing, 19 platinum awards were handed out for advertising, public relations and Web marketing.  From the field of Platinum Winners came the coveted Best of Show in each category, including: 

Advertising Best of Show:

Delta Airlines – SS+K (agency)

Facing bankruptcy, hostile takeover threats and fierce competition from low-cost carriers, this airline looked to recharge its brand and its workforce.  Its innovative “Change” campaign was honest about the sad state of flying and promised to keep changing.  It was a daring departure that transitioned its advertising from old-fashioned and traditional to bold, stylish and surprising, with a strong and powerful message about change.

Public Relations Best of Show

Zero-Gravity – M. Silver Associates Inc. (agency)

With plans to redesign its aircraft for more passengers, this corporation was looking for mass appeal.  Sending renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who spent his career pondering the nature of gravity from a wheelchair, off on a weightless flight took media coverage to the outer limits – it was even among the top 10 Googled items of the day.  Looking to broaden its base beyond space enthusiasts and thrill seekers, this company cleverly staged a historic flight of fancy, taking millions of readers and viewers on a wild and weightless ride.

Web Marketing Best of Show

www.24nola.com (New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau) – Trumpet (agency)

“Experience this city like the locals.”  That was the goal of this interactive Web site (www.24nola.com) and itinerary planning tool that celebrates the endless things to see,  hear, eat and do any hour of the day.  With editor’s picks from local experts, visitors get to create 24-hour custom itineraries not found in local guidebooks.

The Platinum Awards were judged the best-of-the-best from all the Gold-winning entries in their respective categories.  The winners were presented via a multimedia video presentation and were welcomed on stage to accept their awards.


Company:                                                                            Agency:

Hilton Hotels Corp.                                             Y&R Brands

Skamania Lodge                                                Sasquatch Advertising

Colonial Williamsburg                                         Arnold Worldwide

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa                                  AIR Marketing

Delta Air Lines                                                   SS+K

Magnolia Hotels                                                 JB Islander

New Mexico Tourism Department                          M & C Saatchi Los Angeles


Company:                                                                            Agency:                   

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau                  McNeil Wilson Communication

Cunard Line                                                       Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc.

The Greenbrier                                                   Gallagher Goodwin-Gregg Communications

Zero-Gravity                                                       M. Silver Associates Inc.

Hilton Hotels                                                      Cohn & Wolfe

Air Tahiti Nui, Morocco, Hong Kong, New Zealand     Spring O’Brien

Lodge at Woodloch                                              Lou Hammond & Associates


Company:                                                                            Agency:     

New Orleans Metropolitan                                    Trumpet
Convention and Visitors Bureau

Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin                               TIG Global

W Hotels                                                           RDA International

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau                  Firefly Interactive

Marriott International, Inc.                                   T3 (The Think Tank)


Additional information about the competition can be found at www.adrianawards.com.  Case studies on the Best of Show and Platinum Award winners will also be featured in a special section of the spring issue of the HSMAI Marketing Review.

During the evening, the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented, including the Albert E. Koehl Award for advertising, which was bestowed on Ian Schrager, chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, and the Winthrop W. Grice Award for public relations excellence, which went to Laura Davidson, founder and president of LDPR.

Ian Schrager commented on the importance of sales and marketing in the hospitality arena by saying, “It is everything.  Without sales and marketing we would see no success for our hotels.”

And, while appreciating the importance and significance of being in the know about high-tech solutions and applications, Laura Davidson offered the following advice to attendees, “My message to everyone in this room is a simple one. Once in a while, step away from the computer. My success didn't come through an e-mail folder; it came from real face-to-face, old-fashioned conversations with clients, media and my staff.”

For the second consecutive year, Yahoo! bestowed their Big Idea Chair, exemplifying unique and outstanding work.  This year’s Big Idea Chair honor went to Hilton Hotels.  DEPARTURES magazine presented the DEPARTURES Magazine Luxury Marketing Achievement Award for the most effective and creative advertising to the affluent market to Preferred Hotel Group.  TravelCLICK paid tribute to the best integrated eMarketing program in the hotel industry by awarding Georgetown Inn, an LXR Hotels & Resorts property, as eMarketer of the Year.

For the fifth consecutive year, HSMAI paid tribute to the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing”as the best minds in hospitality, travel and tourism sales and marketing for 2007.  This hot list salutes outstanding individuals who define innovation, vision and achievement, and whose work yields great results.

“The Adrian Awards is a wonderful celebration showcasing A-list work, truly deserving honorees and a global representation of industry attendees,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.

The HSMAI Foundation presented student scholarships sponsored by American Express.  Recipients included: Matthew Ardakanian, attending the University of Delaware; Alissa Biel at Boston University; Jonathan Kim studying at the Preston Robert Tisch Center of Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University; and Lynn Slupski who will attend Baltimore International College.

One of the largest travel-related marketing competitions of its kind, the Adrian Awards embraces every segment of the industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, destinations, credit card companies and more.  The competition attracted over 1,300 entries from around the world.

Supporters of the Adrian Awards included the following:

Benefactors: DEPARTURES Magazine, TravelCLICK and Yahoo!
Patrons: Getty Images, New York Marriott Marquis, Nielsen Business Partners, Panzano & Partners and The New York Times
Sponsors: Bloomingdales, Paint the Town Red, Puritano Media Group, USA Today and VRX Studios
Contributors: ADB Marketing Communications, Delta Air Lines, Destination Hotels & Resorts, Expedia, Emirates Airline, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hacienda Tres Rios, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Kahn Travel Communications (KTCpr), LJM Marketing Solutions, Inc., MMG Worldwide, Neil W. Ostergren & Associates, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Taryn Schneider Communications, Tesoro’s Mexican Resorts, Warren Kremer Paino and Wild Dunes Resort.

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