watergate marketing

When Euro Capital Properties, owner of Washington, D.C.’s legendary Watergate Hotel, was putting the final touches on its $125 million renovation of the 1967 landmark by the Potomac, it had a delicate piece of business to consider, states Adweek.

The Adweek item, in part, added:

“The Watergate Hotel once housed the Democratic National Committee, the offices that men working for President Richard Nixon’s re-election committee broke into on the night of June 17, 1972. The event touched off the biggest political scandal in American history.

“Ignoring the hotel’s past was, of course, impossible. But how do you work shady history into a marketing plan?

“”The scandal was just a little part of the hotel’s history, yet that part is what people remember most,” said Rakel Cohen, Euro Capital’s svp of design, development, marketing and communication. “That’s why we couldn’t completely ignore the scandal—but [we] didn’t want to overdo it.”

“Given that the Watergate—then and now—has always been a swank hangout, a place where D.C.’s power players clink martini glasses, Cohen decided to address the scandal with what she calls “playful little details.”

“For example, Cohen took the otherwise ordinary key cards to the rooms and had them printed with “No Need to Break In.” She also customized the complimentary pencils in each room, stamping them with gold letters that read: “I Stole This From the Watergate Hotel.” (Cohen confirmed that the hotel has ordered an ample supply of the pencils in expectation that the guests will indeed steal them.)”

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