Hilton has two scruffy, 20-something guys romantically cuddling up while sharing headphones. The headline says “Stop clicking around.”
Travel services have been highly competitive business categories in the LGBTQ market for decades, and advertisers are compelled to stand out.
Hilton says it isn’t afraid of showing a male couple in bed. “We’re proud to depict and reflect our guest diversity in our advertising,” said Kasey O’Leary, senior director, Hilton HHonors & Loyalty Marketing, Hilton Worldwide. The campaign features a real couple, who will also appear in Travel + Leisure in June and The New York Times this summer, along with a commercial that includes them. It will air on network and cable.
Hilton’s new campaign imagery is bold for a company that has advertised to LGBT consumers for over a decade but showed few actual people until recently. In 2007, one ad depicted “his and his” towels, and a male pair began appearing 2014-15 — eventually with the headline, “Be the couple whose honeymoon never ends.” In 2015 a Facebook post with a rainbow-striped shirt celebrated the Supreme Court marriage ruling that said, “To paraphrase a wise woman, if you love it, then you should put a ring on it. Today’s court ruling in the U.S. paves the way for this to happen. Now, let’s talk honeymoons.”