Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

The Westin Ad That Doesn’t Feel Very Westin-Like

banner ads for resorts

Is this really a Westin ad? The Westin with the Heavenly Bed? And the Heavenly Shower? And all that Heavenly stuff?

Once upon a time, Westin was purported to be the very definition of Modern Luxury. Each ad in their campaign during the early 2000s actually began with the question “What Is Modern Luxury?”

But this banner ad that popped up in my Trip Advisor feed feels neither modern nor luxurious. It just feels like an ad for your average ski mountain. It’s also not based in any kind of truth. “Even the downhill needs to be uplifting” is not a headline that would resonate with the target. Because to a skier, downhill is always uplifting. It is never a drag. For avid skiers, it’s the reason they live and breathe. And even for not-so-great skiers like myself, it’s an adrenaline rush.

I understand where they were trying to go with the headline, but something got lost along the way. It lacks clarity. One of my copywriting professors at SVA once told me that good ads — whether they appear online or off — need three things:

  • Clarity
  • Originality
  • Yin & Yang (that is to say, the visual and the headline must perfectly complement one another)


At the very least, they should satisfy two of the three. I would add two more requirements to the list:

  • Ads should be completely inline with the brand positioning
  • And they should resonate with the target audience


Looks like this one is 0 for 5. Let’s hope the other ads in the series are working a little harder. This is a brand that is worthy of smart ads that connect emotionally with the target. Their campaign should be nothing short of Heavenly.