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HSMAI's Adrian Awards, Known as the “Oscars” of Travel and
Hospitality Marketing, Presented at Gala In New York City

Black-Tie Event Honored Advertising, PR & Web Marketing Excellence, Lifetime
Achievement and ‘Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing’ 

MCLEAN, VA (Jan. 31, 2008) – The 18th annual Adrian Awards Gala was presented before a record-setting attendance of 1,004 top industry professionals on Monday night in New York City.  The black-tie extravaganza, that celebrates travel and hospitality marketing excellence, was presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI –

During the Adrian Awards, renowned as the “Oscars” of travel and hospitality marketing, 19 platinum awards were handed out for advertising, public relations and Web marketing.  From the field of Platinum Winners came the coveted “Best of Show” in each category, including: 

Advertising “Best of Show”
Delta Airlines – SS+K (agency)
Facing bankruptcy, hostile takeover threats and fierce competition from low-cost carriers,    this airline looked to recharge its brand and its workforce.  Its innovative “Change” campaign was honest about the sad state of flying and promised to keep changing.  It was a daring departure that transitioned its advertising from old-fashioned and traditional to bold, stylish and surprising, with a strong and powerful message about change.

Public Relations “Best of Show”
Zero-Gravity – M. Silver Associates Inc. (agency)
With plans to redesign its aircraft for more passengers, this corporation was looking for mass appeal.  Sending renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who spent his career pondering the nature of gravity from a wheelchair, off on a weightless flight took media coverage to ‘the outer limits’ – it was even among the “Top 10 Googled” items of the day.  Looking to broaden its base beyond space enthusiasts and thrill seekers, this company cleverly staged a historic flight of fancy, taking millions of readers and viewers on a wild and weightless ride.

Web Marketing “Best of Show” (New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau) – Trumpet (agency)
“Experience this city like the locals.”  That was the goal of this interactive website ( and itinerary planning tool that celebrates the endless things to see, hear, eat and do any hour of the day.  With “Editor’s Picks” from local experts, visitors get to create 24-hour custom itineraries not found in local guidebooks. 

Pictured (l-r): Bruce Himelstein, senior vice president of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, presents the “Best of Show” for Web Marketing to Stephen Perry, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and Robbie Vitrano, Trumpet, for the website.
The Platinum Awards were judged the best-of-the-best from all the Gold winning entries in their respective categories.  The winners were presented via a multi-media video presentation and were welcomed on stage to accept their awards. 


Company Agency
Hilton Hotels Corp. 
Skamania Lodge 
Colonial Williamsburg
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Delta Air Lines 
Magnolia Hotels
New Mexico Tourism Department
Y&R Brands
Sasquatch Advertising
Arnold Worldwide
AIR Marketing
JB Islander
M & C Saatchi Los Angeles


Company Agency
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau 
Cunard Line
The Greenbrier
Hilton Hotels
Air Tahiti Nui, Morocco, Hong Kong
Lodge at Woodloch
McNeil Wilson Communications
Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc.
Gallagher Goodwin-Gregg Communications
M. Silver Associates Inc.
Cohn & Wolfe
Spring O’Brien
Lou Hammond & Associates


Company Agency
New Orleans Metropolitan CVB
Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin
W Hotels
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
Marriott International, Inc. 
TIG Global                                                            RDA International Firefly Interactive
T3 (The Think Tank)
The Adrian Awards Gallery displayed the Gold-winning entries; Silver and Bronze recipients were also recognized.

Additional information about the competition can be found at  Case studies on the Best of Show and Platinum Award winners will also be featured in a special section of the spring issue of the HSMAI Marketing Review.

During the evening, the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented, including the Albert E. Koehl Award for advertising, which was bestowed on Ian Schrager, chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, and the Winthrop W. Grice Award for public relations excellence, which went to Laura Davidson, founder and president of LDPR.

Ian Schrager, chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, was 
the recipient of the Albert E. Koehl Award for advertising.
Ian Schrager commented on the importance of sales and marketing in the hospitality arena by saying: “It is everything.  Without sales and marketing we would see no success for our hotels.”

And, while appreciating the importance and significance of being “in the know” about high-tech solutions and applications, Laura Davidson offered the following advice to attendees: “My message to everyone in this room is a simple one. Once in a while, step away from the computer. My success didn't come through an e-mail folder; it came from real face-to-face, old-fashioned conversations with clients, media and my staff.”

For the second consecutive year, Yahoo! bestowed their Big Idea Chair, exemplifying unique and outstanding work.  This year’s Big Idea Chair honor went to Hilton Hotels.  DEPARTURES magazine presented the DEPARTURES Magazine Luxury Marketing Achievement Award for the most effective and creative advertising to the affluent market to Preferred Hotel Group.  TravelCLICK paid tribute to the best integrated eMarketing program in the hotel industry by awarding Georgetown Inn, an LXR Hotels & Resorts property, as eMarketer of the Year.

For the fifth consecutive year, HSMAI paid tribute to the “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” as the best minds in hospitality, travel and tourism sales and marketing for 2007.  This “hot list” salutes outstanding individuals who define innovation, vision and achievement, and whose work yields great results.

“The Adrian Awards is a wonderful celebration showcasing A-list work, truly deserving honorees and a global representation of industry attendees,” stated Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. 

The HSMAI Foundation presented student scholarships sponsored by American Express.  Recipients included: Matthew Ardakanian, attending the University of Delaware; Alissa Biel at Boston University; Jonathan Kim studying at the Preston Robert Tisch Center of Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University; and Lynn Slupski who will attend Baltimore International College.

Additionally, the gala featured the HSMAI Foundation scholarship benefit raffle, with exciting travel packages including trips to London, Dubai, California, Mexico, Colorado, and more.

Held at the New York Marriott Marquis, the evening was produced by Paint The Town Red and Go West Events and Multimedia.

The largest travel-related marketing competition of its kind, the Adrian Awards embraces every segment of the industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, destinations, credit card companies and more.  The competition attracted over 1,300 entries from around the world.

To view a highlight video of the 2008 Adrian Awards Gala, please click the following:

Supporters of the Adrian Awards included the following: 

• Benefactors: DEPARTURES Magazine, TravelCLICK and Yahoo!
• Patrons: Getty Images, New York Marriott Marquis, Nielsen Business Partners, Panzano & Partners and The New York Times
• Sponsors: Bloomingdales, Paint the Town Red, Puritano Media Group, USA Today and VRX Studios
• Contributors: ADB Marketing Communications, Delta Air Lines, Destination Hotels & Resorts, Expedia, Emirates Airline, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hacienda Tres Rios, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Kahn Travel Communications (KTCpr), LJM Marketing Solutions, Inc., MMG Worldwide, Neil W. Ostergren & Associates, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Taryn Schneider Communications, Tesoro’s Mexican Resorts, Warren Kremer Paino and Wild Dunes Resort.

HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 39 chapters in the Americas Region.


Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, 
McLean, VA 22102, 
phone (703) 610-9024


Also See: HSMAI Competition Reveals the Best of Travel and Hospitality’s Advertising, Public Relations and Web Marketing / January 2006
HSMAI Annual Adrian Awards Honors Standout Campaigns in Advertising, Public Relations and Web Marketing / January 2005
HSMAI Competition Reveals the Best of Travel and Hospitality’s Advertising, Public Relations and Web Marketing / Jan 2003
HSMAI Competition Reveals the Best of Travel and Hospitality’s Advertising, Public Relations and Web Marketing / Jan 2002


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