August 16, 2013
Starwood Preferred Guest credit card by American Express is targeting global travelers with a video banner advertisement on The New York Times Web site to announce the card's limited-time offers.
The banner expands and a video begins to play that explains the benefits of owning the SPG card, offers customer testimonies and perks such as earning up to 30,000 points for those who sign up before Sept. 3. A click-through on the ad brings users to a page where they can apply for a card and learn more about the incentives.
"The NY Times Web site is important because the audience is made up of smart, savvy, well-educated business travelers who are interested in Starwood’s more than 1,100 hotels in more than 100 countries," said Laura Donahue, director of financial partnerships for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, New York.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts' wide range of participating hotels allows the ad to reach the large and diverse readership that the New York Times garners.
SPG American Express card ad
A click-through on the ad directs users to an application page that asks for basic information.
The proposed 30,000 Starpoints can be earned through a two-step process.
The first purchase made on the card will earn consumers 10,000 points. Secondly, if $5,000 is spent using the card within the first six months of membership, another 20,000 points will be accrued.
Card members can use 30,000 points for multiple offers.
For example, guests can spend seven free nights at a category two hotel such as Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11, Thailand.
Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11
At the other side of the spectrum, guests can use the points for a one-night stay at a category six hotel such as Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.
Normal card offers include five points earned for every dollar spent on a property and receiving 5,000 points when transferring 20,000 points to any of the participating airline programs.
Guests who sign up by Sept. 3 do not incur the annual $65 fee for the first year.
Rivers of traffic
Many luxury brands have leveraged the New York Times Web Site's homepage traffic.
For instance, U.S. lifestyle label Ralph Lauren showed off its holiday 2012 collection through attention-grabbing header, banner and side bar advertisements on the New York Times Web site.
The ads featured select 2012 Ralph Lauren holiday items in a video and image gallery. A click-through on the banner ad took users to the Ralph Lauren Holiday 2012 Web site to see the collection or locate a store (see story).
Similarly, the Corcoran Group flaunted its luxury properties to lure readers and potential real estate buyers who are using The New York Times mobile application.
Corcoran has various ads that run on the bottom of the mobile app that show off different properties. The ads lead to Corcoran’s mobile site that allows users to access the group’s listings from their smartphone (see story).
Unlike with mobile ads, brands can afford to add more layers to digital ads while not bombarding users with content.
"The SPG AmEx card makes it easy for guests to experience Starwood’s nine unique brands," Ms. Donahue said.
"The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express rewards members with Starpoints virtually every time they use the card," she said.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York