Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Agency of Record

For four years, Luxury Branding partnered with the Mumbai head office of The Indian Hotels Company Limited to create global advertising campaigns and refreshed branding for Taj Hotels, the hallmark of Indian hospitality.

Case Study

The ‘Performance.Art’ theme was derived from two insights. First, that the seemingly effortless performance of superlative hospitality is actually the product of painstaking practice. Second, when perfected, any form of human endeavor – whether it be academic, sporting or artistic – may be elevated to an art form.

Like theatre, music or dance, hotel keeping too can be viewed as an art form; one that relies equally on precise choreography and passionate performers. When perfected, hospitality itself is truly Performance.Art.

Across the whole campaign, each advertisement is signed-off with an end line that combines the Taj brand mark with the new brand claim: “The Practice of Perfect Hospitality”.

The brand campaign is presented in two complementary levels; one metaphorical and the other literal. For the metaphorical level, five global dance forms were selected and photographed to represent different attributes of the Taj brand, its history and its global footprint.

Running in the same media and in parallel with the first, level two of the campaign demonstrates The Practice of Perfect Hospitality literally by showcasing eight of the brand’s signature experiences that embody the spirit of Taj. Intimately, this second level reveals the care and attention to detail that people often appreciate yet rarely see.

We designed and produced both an articulation of the concept in book format and a documentary film of the making of Performance.Art.

Click here to download a pdf of ‘The Little Book of the Idea’

In 2014, The Pierre Hotel New York, a Taj Hotel, was awarded the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel rating. With 75% of the award criteria based upon service, this was a testament to the brand’s ongoing commitment to “The Practice of Perfect Hospitality”.

As a celebration of the outstanding service at this New York icon, Luxury Branding devised a print advertising campaign for global distribution in 2014 and 2015.

Our idea was inspired by celebrated portrait photographer Philippe Halsman who was perhaps most famous for his ‘jumping’ portraits of luminaries such as Marilyn Monroe, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Richard Nixon. As a homage to Halsman and as an artistic example of reinventing tradition, contemporary portrait photographer Jake Walters shot this now iconic image at The Pierre one night featuring five key Taj Associates from the hotel.

The individual personalities that create this uniquely attentive service shine through in the photograph, as Philippe Halsman originally intended with his original works, “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is directed to the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears”.

In 2014, Luxury Branding was asked to devise a print advertising campaign for the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives.

Beginning with a visit to the resort, we hosted a series of workshops with key Taj Associates to ascertain what made the property truly special and perhaps more importantly, would differentiate it from its myriad of competitors on neighbouring islands. Special consideration had also to be given to the resort’s wish to increase its published rates, whilst at the same time demonstrating its uniqueness and value.

The result was the creation of ‘Taj Time’, a concept that embodied the resort’s commitment to making the most of each guest’s time on the island in a world where ‘time well spent’ is often the most important factor for the cash rich, time poor luxury traveller.

Seven images were shot at the resort, each depicting the concept of Taj Time, for use in a global advertising campaign throughout 2015. This idea was then extended to the creation of an entirely new resort brochure for use in sales and marketing initiatives.

With an invitation to ‘Discover Your Taj Time’ – the consumer is invited to imagine how time well spent is worth every penny.

Click here to download a pdf of the Taj Exotica brochure

Following the global success of our Performance.Art campaign for Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces – Luxury Branding was invited to produce the group’s 2014 calendar.

Just like a theatrical presentation, great guest experiences are meticulously choreographed and so through the beautiful metaphor of dance, the calendar celebrated the rigour of operational perfection and the artistry of Associates who perform genuinely from their hearts.

The calendar is both a metaphorical and literal exploration of the painstaking preparation, precision and passion that each Taj Associate performs in their daily quest for the “Practice of Perfect Hospitality”.

For the second consecutive year, Luxury Branding was commissioned to produce the calendar for Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces.

Entitled ‘The Art of Being Taj’ it invites the viewer to join an exclusive tour of their unrivalled collection of modern Indian art – many of which were only previously accessible to resident guests staying in signature suites.

With a century old commitment to nurturing, supporting and celebrating local talent, the hotels of the Taj provide the perfect backdrop to showcase their work to art connoisseurs and collectors alike.

Now, for the first time – these seminal works are presented for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

Click here to download a pdf of the Taj 2015 Calendar

2015 heralded the opening of Taj Dubai – the largest hotel in the group’s portfolio outside of the Indian subcontinent.

Luxury Branding was invited to devise a global advertising campaign to both launch the hotel, and then promote it to key markets throughout the year.

Our starting point was an acknowledgment of the attention to detail that has given Taj Hotels both the reputation as providers of legendary service for 110 years, and the amount of behind the scenes work that goes into the final stages of preparation in launching a new hotel.

This brought us to our chosen concept of ‘Finishing Touches’ – a reference to both the final tasks of preparation in anticipation of the arrival of the first guests, and the daily commitment to excellence that is such an integral part of the DNA of each and every Taj Associate.

Six examples of Taj Associates in the act of conducting their ‘finishing touches’ were conceived, which were then shot on location in Dubai with award winning photographer, Will Pryce.

The result was a dynamic series of adverts that firmly reinforce the group’s commitment to the “Practice of Perfect Hospitality”.

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Luxury Branding is a strategic advisor specialising in generating sustainable brand value. Its principal experience is in the ultra-competitive premium segments of the tourism, travel, hospitality and residential real estate sectors.

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Piers Schmidt and Ian R Douglas of Phoenix Global are the co-founders of Kingham Leigh. This dynamic new partnership has been created to design, develop and operate innovative hospitality projects in Europe and beyond.

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