Star Strategy

What's the best way to get a new property noticed? Word-of-mouth marketing is always a strong strategy, and enlisting celebrities in the campaign helps broadcast the news quicker, louder, and with more oomph.

With that in mind, Novom Marketing (Hollywood) created extravagant packages for two new resort properties and placed them in Oscar gift baskets given to Academy Award presenters and performers last February. Featuring ideal settings for relaxation and rejuvenation after the hectic award season, the gift boxes showcased Paraiso de la Bonita Resort & Thalasso (Riviera Maya, Mexico), which offers a full array of spa treatments as well as its specialty—thalassotherapy—in its Spa & Thalasso Center, and Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico), which concentrates on wellness treatments in its Armonia Spa.

Like all great Hollywood productions, months of planning went into these spa presentations. Novom Marketing began last November by compiling the contents of the packages, including an exclusive booking phone number just for the gift recipients, and getting the client's approval for the offerings. The fully assembled packages were then given to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for evaluation. "We had to go into this with the guarantee that if our client's properties were chosen, we would reproduce two-hundred-and-fifty identical giveaway packages, the same as the samples," says senior account director Season Skuro. Though the Academy makes its choices—based on presentation, content, and value—behind closed doors, Novom heard that its properties were two of approximately 13 destinations picked from 30 submitted—and the only two in Mexico. "The guidelines and judging are tough," says Skuro, "so we are thankful to have two of our hotels and spas chosen, and of course, our client is ecstatic."—D.D.