How to Sell a Hotel that isn’t Actually There


Successful advertising and marketing thrives on the new, the exciting, the cutting edge. For a new car launch advertisers tease with sheets of silk draped over sleek, backlit shapes. To sell the next blockbuster, Hollywood stitches together provocative chase scenes with passionate embraces for a movie that hasn’t finished filming. But how do you sell a hotel that’s not there?

That’s exactly what Marriott Renaissance Dallas needed to do a few years back. This unique landmark had first appeared on the Dallas skyline in the late 1960s. The striking lipstick-shaped architecture made quite a stir in its day. But the property had become a little worn around the edges.


Marriott was investing in a major 3-phase upgrade and remodel of this noteworthy property. The trick was to sell today what would not be completed for several years hence. But how? They took photos of stylish room mockups, sexy Italian furniture and mouthwatering dishes that would be served in the newly themed restaurant­­––just as soon as someone builds it.

An elegant website was developed that tantalized past guests, meeting planners and travel agents with what was on the horizon. E-blasts and direct mailings were developed that promised what was yet to come. It was all tied together with the call to action: Experience the Renaissance of Dallas’ Landmark Hotel. The result? A sizable increase in event and transient bookings within the first year. All for a hotel that wasn’t even there. Not bad.


Learn more about how the Renaissance Dallas increased bookings before their phased renovation was ever completed. See campaign now.

Is your hospitality brand looking for out of the box thinking? We’d love to lend a hand.

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