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Sheraton Launches $20 Million Ad Campaign And Signature "Warm Welcome" Experience

White Plains, NY – April 10, 2006 – Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announced today the launch of its new emotionally driven $20 million global television campaign and the debut of its signature "Warm Welcome" experience in hotels. Developed to introduce the brand’s new positioning around warm, comforting, connections, the new campaign and in hotel initiative invite consumers and guests to "belong." Sheraton's ad campaign, titled "Greetings," follows on the heels of sister brand Westin's new ad campaign which debuted last month and is the result of a yearlong revamp of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc's. (NYSE:HOT) marketing and brand strategy.

You Don't Just Stay at Sheraton - You Belong
Created by Deutsch and directed by the award-winning international duo Jan Vogel and Rene Villar-Rios who are credited with renowned campaigns for brand powerhouses including Nike and Coca-Cola, Sheraton's new campaign promises to connect with consumers and features people from around the world warmly greeting each other with hugs, kisses, toasts, hand-shakes and even high-fives. The 15: and 30: second television spots are set to a new rendition of the Pat Benatar song "We Belong" and speak to a core human truth – the need to belong.  Underscoring Sheraton's position as the world’s most global hotel brand, "Greetings" tag asserts: "the greetings are different, the need to feel welcome is the same. You don't just stay here - you belong."

According to Javier Benito, Starwood's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, the new commercials tested very positively. Likeability of the commercial was 60%, which is significantly above the DRI* hotel and industry travel norm of 43%. After seeing the commercial, 42% of those surveyed said they would consider Sheraton for their next business trip, again significantly above the 35% industry norm. The music was also found to be very appealing and received a 44% "excellent" rating; again significantly above the norm of 24%. 

Ambassadors, scent, and a connection to home provide a Warm Welcome...
Created to provide a memorable arrival, Sheraton's "Warm Welcome" will make guests feel like they belong the moment they enter the hotel. Upon arrival guests will be greeted by a Sheraton Ambassador who will make their passage into the hotel less transactional and more of a true and personal welcome.  Sheraton's new signature lobby scent "Welcoming Warmth" includes notes of Fig, Bergamot, Jasmine and Freesia and was developed exclusively for Sheraton to help settle and relax guests after a long journey. "Welcoming Warmth" is natural and hypoallergenic and was created by leading fragrance design house, MANE.  

During check-in guests will be encouraged to keep in touch with the people that matter most to them with a free ten-minute phone card and a signature prepaid postcard. The specially designed phone cards and postcards, also created by Deutsch, feature moving images and remind guests that, "away doesn’t have to feel so far away" and encourages them to "have a heart to heart even if it's not face-to-face."

"Sheraton's moving ad campaign and signature welcome program convey what defines a true Sheraton guest experience – a warm staff and signature services designed to provide our guests with a sense of community and a connection to the people and places that matter most," said Benito.

"Sheraton's campaign is about the emotion of the experience and not just the physical experience," said Kathy Delaney, Chief Creative Officer/President, Deutsch NY. "Underscoring the intangible benefit really shows what sets Sheraton apart in a memorable way."

The global advertising campaign breaks today on networks including CBS and NBC and top cable stations such as A&E, ESPN, HGTV and E Entertainment.  Sheraton's "Warm Welcome" program begins rolling out to all Sheraton hotels and resorts later this month.

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton, the largest brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has more than 394 hotels in 65 countries. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced Aloft(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com .

About Deutsch Inc.
Deutsch Inc. is a full-service integrated marketing and communications company. Part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), Deutsch works with blue-chip clients including Johnson & Johnson, Chevrolet Motorsports and Major League Baseball, IKEA, Expedia, Novartis, T.G.I. Friday's, Old Navy and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Deutsch offers clients an array of services including advertising, direct marketing (directDeutsch), Interactive (iDeutsch), media buying and planning (deutschMedia), design (designDeutsch), public relations, promotions, and events (Deutsch PR and Promotions) and branded entertainment offering Media Bridge Entertainment (MBE).

*D/R Added Value is a leading brand development and marketing insights firm with expertise in creative testing. The proprietary advertising testing method used in this test exposes target audiences to advertising under multiple exposure conditions. The results provide decision makers with a total assessment of their execution(s) based on salience/breakthrough, comprehension, reaction to presentation, emotional response and call to action. All Significance testing is done at the 90% confidence level.

Article Publish Date : 04/10/2006