What You “Should” and What You “Are”


WestinShouldFeel1This advertisement caught my eye a while back, enough for me to stop and take a picture.  What struck me was how a large hotel chain like Westin was using images that were more appropriate for our use. What was it about this image that Westin wanted to portray about itself? Was it the call of the wild? Was it the serenity of nature? Was it the peacefulness of being one with the path and the woods? Was it just the green, lush vegetation that was so inviting? Or was it the stark contrast between the airport environment in which the ad was placed that would catch the eye of the passerby.  Would the passerby see the image and think, green, lush, peaceful, tranquility, connectivity with nature and then associate it with Westin? Is this what Westin wants its brand to be associated with?

I also appreciate the tag line, “This is how it should feel.”  Now Westin may want to emphasize the “feel” part of the sentence, but what caught my eye is the “should” part of the tag line.  When they mean “should”, do they mean, that Westin wants the experience of staying at their hotels to feel like this (green, lush, etc.) . What part of their brand identity is being driven by this image and the prononcement of what they “should” be? Either way, what Westin is telling us, at least Playa Viva, is that Playa Viva “is” what Westin wants to be. We don’t think it “should” feel this way, we know that it does feel this way.   This is who  we are, not who we want to be or what think you “should” be or feel, this is what we know the expereince will b

All this reminds me of a conversation I recently had a with a friend. We were talking about how important it is for our children to engage with the right peer group, get into the right schools and focus on the right activities.  This turned to a discussion about how private schools are now emphasizing public service and a sense of global citizenship as part of what makes up a well rounded applicant.  At this point in the conversation my friend turned to me and reminded me of the importance of  the community service and local engagement component of Playa Viva.  He basically said that coming to Playa Viva would provide an opportunity to have his children engage with the local community and become more well rounded citizens.  So it reminds me of what we “should” do in the community, about how that makes us “feel” about ourselves and our responsibility to give back. 

We welcome our guests opinion about how we should work with our children, the children of our freinds and family, in engaging them with the community and building their character.

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