More than 900 industry and agency professionals poured into the New York Marriott Marquis Monday evening in celebration of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International's (HSMAI) 56th annual Adrian Awards.
The evening's focus was to honor those who have created exceptional advertising, digital marketing and public relations campaigns in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.
"HSMAI was astounded by the amount of talent we found through submissions for the Adrian Awards," said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. "The amount of creativity and dedication in each campaign is unmatched, and each honoree should be immensely proud of their work."
HSMAI received slightly more than 1,200 submissions attained on a worldwide scale for the 2012 Adrian Awards. Among them, Platinum winners were selected from the entries seen as the most superlative Gold winners, and the highest show merit, Best of Show, were chosen from the Platinum winners and went to the following recipients in the advertising, digital marketing and public relations categories:
Advertising "Best of Show" -- Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg and its agency Paradise Communications, Digital & Entertainment for their "Bulletins" campaign
Advertising "Best of Show" -- Hilton Worldwide and its agency Publicis Kaplan Thaler for the HHonors campaign
Digital Marketing "Best of Show" -- Expedia Media Solutions for its Facebook FriendTrips campaign
Public Relations "Best of Show" -- Denihan Hospitality Group / Affinia Hotels and its agency Quinn & Co. Public Relations for its "Affinia Hotels Tender Loving Comfort®" campaign
HSMAI's Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing were also honored during a private ceremony co-sponsored by Expedia Media Solutions and during the Adrian Awards Gala.
As part of the Adrian Awards, two individuals were presented with Lifetime Achievement awards: the Albert E. Koehl Award for advertising and marketing and the Winthrop W. Grice Award for public relations excellence. This year, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, was chosen as the Koehl winner because of his extensive and lasting contributions to increase travel to and within the United States. Howard Feiertag, faculty member at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., was chosen as the Grice winner due to his outstanding dedication to his work and to the education of future hospitality professionals throughout the past 30 years.
Also, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) took home the American Express Loyalty Award, Best Western International received the TravelClick eMarketer of the Year award, Homewood Suites by Hilton was given Oyster.com's The World is Your Oyster Award, and the third annual Leader in Sustainable Tourism award presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler went to PUNTACANA Resort and Club, Dominican Republic.
Founded in 1957, the Adrian Awards embraces every segment of the industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, destinations, credit card companies and more. Winners are selected from a field of more than 1,200 entries by senior industry and media experts. For more information, visit www.adrianawards.com.