The HMA's annual awards, sponsored by American Express, are now in their 19th year and recognise the most innovative marketing campaigns while the young marketer prize is awarded to the 'cream of young marketing talent in the hotel industry'.
Two hotels or hotel groups were double award winners in the main section of the awards which the organisation, a branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, held earlier this week at The Savoy hotel in London.
The Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall Place scooped the prize for Best Marketing Activity for an Individual Hotel or Conference Centre while the hotel's agency Inaria took the Best Agency Promotion or Campaign title - both awards were for the venue's Above & Beyond promotion.
The campaign, which coincided with the launch of seven luxury penthouse suites at the hotel, included the production of an A3 book with high-end photography which was sent to a bespoke list of selected recipients. Judges praised the promotion for its impressive results in the luxury sector despite the economic downturn.
"We were delighted to receive a record number of entries for the awards this year and the judges were extremely impressed with the quality of the submissions," Linda Moore, chairman of the Hotel Marketing Association, said. "It is proof that there are some great hotel marketing campaigns out there," she added.
Best Social Media Campaign and Best Marketing Activity for a Hotel Chain went to Aloft Hotels for their Play & Stay music promotion - the campaign encouraged young musicians and bands to audition in Aloft Hotels' venues in return for a free overnight stay and a possible chance to record. The judges praised the campaign for its innovation, creativity and ability to reach the target audience - Generation Y.
Young Marketer of the Year
Chris Timbs from Hilton Hotels & Resorts was named as the HMA Young Marketer of the Year 2012 - following in the footsteps of Sarah Tobler from The Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London who won the prize last year.
Timbs was praised for his work on campaigns including Heart Radio and Stay Hilton Go Chill - his prize included a one day course at the Chartered Institute of Marketing at Moor Hall and a bottle of champagne.
Following a record number of entries for the awards this year, a Highly Commended award was also given to Geoff Morrison of Crieff Hydro for his 'strategic approach and quirky campaigns', with Katie Scott of Rockliffe Hall named as runner-up.
Hotel Marketing Association (HMA) awards - full winners:
- Young Marketer of the Year 2012: Winner - Chris Timbs, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Highly Commended - Geoff Morrison, Crieff Hydro
- Best Marketing Activity Hotel Chain: Winner - Aloft Hotels, Highly Commended - Travelodge
- Best Marketing Activity for an Individual Hotel or Conference Centre: Winner - Corinthia Hotel, Highly Commended - Stafford Hotel and Whittlebury Hall
- Best Social Media Campaign: Winner - Aloft Hotels
- Best Agency Promotion or Campaign: Winner - Inaria for Corinthia Hotel