Advertising That Doesn't Feel Like Advertising

Earlier this year gyro created what I think is a wonderful piece of work for the Fairmont Hotels Group. Although well established in North America, the awareness of the Fairmont brand in EMEA is low.

Our challenge was to capture the attention of the travel trade outside of North America and drive our audience to the Fairmont stand at the Arabian Travel Market show in May 2011.

gyro is a global agency specializing in reaching and engaging business decision makers.

“Be part of the next chapter” was our campaign idea, and it centred on the oldest form of customer advocacy – the humble hotel guest book.

Our team had the idea of turning a hotel guest book into a sculpture of the various locations around the world where Fairmont has hotels. We would go on to use the sculpture at the event and in communications to generate interest in and awareness of the brand.

The result was the “Art of Fairmont” sculpture, beautifully crafted by Su Blackwell, a world-renowned paper artist.

Just how contagious this idea is was highlighted a couple of weeks ago with an article in the Shanghai Daily and the Xinmin Evening News, where Su Blackwell talks about how she created the sculpture in a matter of weeks from nothing more than a few photographs and her own research. She goes on to talk about her relief at how accurately she portrayed the Peace Hotel in a place were paper carving was born.

I share this with you for two reasons:

–   Often the best advertising doesn’t feel like advertising.

–   Great ideas are contagious; they travel, and they transcend language and cultural differences.

Su’s journey and the sculpture’s journey continue as more and more countries wait to host this most unique creation.

See the work here. I hope you enjoy it.


by Peter Petrella

Creative Director

Cross-posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network