The brand-centric™ agency was appointed to conceptualise and implement the launch advertising and PR campaign for the new Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. Breaking the traditional hospitality mould, General Manager, Jesper Henriksen, encouraged Gullan&Gullan to create cut-through communications that would position the brand ahead of its competitors.
Located directly across the road from Sandton's Gautrain station, the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel is a short 15-minute journey from OR Tambo on the new hi-speed rail link. The objective of the campaign was to effectively communicate the convenience of a timeous and traffic-free journey.
To demonstrate how the Gautrain and Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel are revolutionising business and leisure travel in Johannesburg, Gullan&Gullan used the creative devise of an obituary ad commiserating the death of the rental car as a metaphor for a new way of travelling. “The Gautrain makes the rental car redundant if you are touching down at OR Tambo and heading directly to the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel for a meeting or conference” explained Desireé Gullan, Creative Director for Gullan&Gullan Advertising. “Sandton's CBD, Shopping Centres and Nelson Mandela Square are a short walk or hotel shuttle service away leaving very little use for car rentals,” added Gullan.
The message not only increases awareness of the hotel's unique location but also helps to build the Gautrain brand and highlights the benefits of the exciting new hi-speed rail link. Although not officially affiliated with the Gautrain, the hotel and Gautrain successes are interdependent. “It's disappointing that so many South African's are sceptical about the Gautrain as it indicates an unwillingness to welcome progress and change behaviours. Working with the Radisson team and witnessing their pioneering attitudes towards embracing the Gautrain has been an inspiration,” said Gullan.
Gullan&Gullan is satisfied that the response from Tempest Car Hire further improved the campaign's traction. In reply to the question asked in the Radisson Ad, “Is this the end of the car rental industry?”, Tempest presented their view of the role of car rental in travel by highlighting the need for rentals in commuting to locations beyond the traveller's hotel room and the rental company's response is, “Certainly not.”
The campaign clearly illustrates the effectiveness of comparative advertising by generating a healthy discussion around the future of car rental service with the inception of the Gautrain.
“We're pleased to see Tempest engaging with our campaign and hope that consumers will too, as the change from driving a car to boarding the Gautrain requires a courageous paradigm shift,” concludes Gullan.