Embassy Suites: A hotel for old people?

I consider myself a young guy. I haven’t hit my midlife crisis yet, although I did eye a red sports car last week. I relate to ’80s music and take issue when the Classic Rock radio station groups it in with ’60s and ’70s music. Hey, Men Without Hats is still current!

Are they drinking apple juice?
Perhaps I am older than I perceive myself -- so old that Embassy Suites thinks I am at least 50. Otherwise, why would they send me an email promoting an AARP Member discount? Those people in the picture appear to be older than my parents (or maybe my parents are older than I think they are. Mom still says her age is “39 and a bit”.)

The email is a Fail for both List and Creative.  From a List standpoint, the hotel chain and Hilton HHonors should be judicious before sending out age-specific emails. Don’t presume your customers are old -- ask them their age. The Creative Fail is that the picture shows a couple of old people hanging out; however, the image does nothing to suggest that they are at an Embassy Suites hotel. Why not show them enjoying their signature Embassy Suites breakfast or manager’s reception, or perhaps at an outdoor table in front of the hotel? Perhaps the ad designer is concerned the intended target market might confuse the hotel for a local diner serving the early bird special.

  1. Do not send customers an age-specific message unless you know their age.
  2. Present your product or service with images of your customers using them.
  3. Don’t use visuals of old people that make them appear old.

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