Client: Hilton
Product: Hilton Hotels
Title: Waitographer
Media: Integrated campaign and Photography courses
Country: United Arab Emirates
Date Of Campaign: January 2022

Background: More often than not, a brand idea is only delivered through a beautiful film and some empty words.This case is an example of how brand action can be much more powerful.In 2020, Hilton launched the ‘To New Memories’ brand platform globally, it was capturing our collective craving for reconnect with our loved ones and experience new moments worth remembering. At the end of 2021, as the world was reopening and everyone was either travelling or considering travelling in 2022, the key for Hilton was to be talked about so that the mental availability of the brand would be high.How could Hilton not only live up to its brand promise “To New Memories” but give the world a reason to talk about it?Objectives:Create talkability and a news factor for the brandEngage employees around its new brand promiseDrive brand affinity and engagement

Idea: What if we could make every waiter/waitress at Hilton a truly great photographer of precious memories?Introducing “Waitographer”, an internal program upskilling the Hilton staff, delivering them an official certificate training as mobile photographers.Led by Roger Moukarzel, an internationally acclaimed Lebanese photographer, we created the first mobile photography workshop especially dedicated to waiters of Hilton’s properties.All waiters who complete the course are given a special pin to mark them as certified waitographers and to be easily recognized by customers on the ground.Additional communication in restaurants, on Hilton’s social channels and in the media supported the uplift in experience.As a first round of graduates, 100+ waiters/waitresses were selected in UAE and KSA, gradually, Hilton will be expanding regionally and covering global markets from Far East Asia to America, simply by making this new skill a core part of its waiters’ training.Because quality memories deserve quality pictures. First, the Waitographer program was implemented internally within Hilton in the UAE. The purpose was to drive change in the culture of the organisation and rally everyone to embrace the new initiative through specific trainings dedicated to waiters.The ambition is to extend the implementation of this Waitographer initiative across different markets in the world.Then, the initiative was promoted across Hilton owned media channels such as Youtube and other social media platforms. The film promotes the Waitographer initiative by immersing ourselves in a dinner experience where guests are struggling to get their pictures done the right way.We then rolled out a strong PR push getting headlines such as “Waiters at Hilton are now trained in photography to snap up perfect memories”. Earned media played a massive role in amplifying the communications roll-out, from news publications such as Gulf News, WhatsOnUAE to industryspecialised press such as TradeArabia.

Results: The most important impact for us, has been the change in mindset: everyone at Hilton has alwaysbeen committed to creating amazing moments but now they have become more aware (and prepared for) turning beautiful moments into beautiful memories.The change in culture has been so deep that Hilton is now launching the “WCG competition” or “Waitographer Generated Content Competition” as well as the “Waitographer of the Month”.On top of this, the initiative has generated PR across 10 markets in publications as diverse asHotelierMiddleEast, TradeArabia, and HotelNewsMiddleEast. Some of the quotes include: “new skills will equip waiters to take photographs for guests in future with expertise and without stress”.Our content on social platforms is planning to reach 2.7million people and more will come as the campaign is just starting to scale and spread.So book at Hilton.com and get your photo frames ready!

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