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Forced relationships

Some things in life just aren’t meant to be together. Langham Hotels and social media are two of those things.

After a long – and, let’s face it, deserved – time spent on the sidelines, the hotel group made a return to the social-media space last month, albeit in a slightly weirder way.

A couple of weeks ago a press release with big, bold headlines came screaming through the screen: ELEGANT OR CHIC? LANGHAM LAUNCHES SOCIAL MEDIA QUIZ TO GUAGE YOUR HOTEL STYLE.

The “Langham Twins” campaign is based on its public relations girls, Katie Harel and Katie Malone, who pose a series of questions to reflect either The Langham or Langham Place.

As we ran through the questions, echoes of “not again” rumbled though the office. One question for the ladies asked: “Your choice of underwear: A: Always matching or B: Always minimal?” One example for the gents read: “Bedside drawer – what’s on yours? A: An heirloom watch, the FT and the latest Booker prize winner or B: iPhone – check. Nurofen – check. Playboy – check (great article on the Bosnian political situation)?”

Depending on your answers you were sent to either The Langham or Langham Place, where you were shown a video interpretation of each hotel. Aside from the fact that no one reads Playboy anymore (did they ever?), it is hard to understand the point of the exercise or how it fits into the wider Langham group. For a respected hotel property it seems a world away from its core brand and begs the question: Is social media for everyone?

In most cases, yes, but for Langham, no.

Its latest attempt looks as if the PR department was given free rein without the proper channels of approval – does this sound familiar? “Langham Twins” won’t cop the same backlash as its disastrous “Big Deal” series, nevertheless it isn’t doing itself any favours.

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