AC Hotels “Unpacked” Campaign Appeals to Uncommon Travelers’ Senses

A new marketing campaign for AC Hotels by Marriott aims to please design-minded, entrepreneurial travelers by highlighting the thought and nuance that goes into every aspect of an AC Hotels stay.

This appeal to the entrepreneurial lifestyle brand’s “base” takes travelers on an artistic and poetic journey, offering behind-the-scenes “visits” with the people responsible for the special moments that define the AC Hotels experience—including the “little things”—like the iconic prosciutto/ham slicer used to carve the cured meats at breakfast, the fresh and soothing scent that permeates the air; and subtle and artistic touches throughout the guestrooms and public rooms.

“Travelers who stay at AC Hotels are busy, entrepreneurial spirits, and getting into their hotel room is often the only moment they have a chance to sit back and have a moment of reflection,” said Benoit Racle, senior director, AC Hotels by Marriott. “The ‘Unpacked’ campaign was created to provide inspiration and offer authentic, engaging content for AC Hotels’ guests to pause and appreciate the present moment.”


Racle says the campaign concepted by FRED & FARID NEW YORK builds on a social and editorial campaign originally developed by AC Hotels and digital agency LikeFriends in 2015.

The campaign debuted on March 2 with three videos, each featuring an essential element of the hotel followed by an interview with the collaborator behind it. They include “visits” with: Frederick Bouchardy, of Joya, who is responsible for AC’s exclusive new scent identity; Alberto Gonzalez, the man behind the prosciutto slicer, from European culinary equipment manufacturer Berkel; and David Helpern, the architect of AC Hotels’ design-driven first New York City property, AC New York Times Square, which is slated to open in 2018.

A key differentiator with AC Hotels, says Racle, is its breakfast. “People in the U.S. love the European-style breakfast, which is different, healthier than the usual American hotel breakfast.” Beyond the flair of having that signature slicing machine, says Racle, is its roots. “In Spain, where we began 20 years ago, jamon—i.e., ham, is sliced it with a thick knife. And AC Hotels is all about small details and why we do things, and also how everything works together to create this beautiful moment of design, while also providing a breakfast experience.”

Describing the intention of AC Hotel, Racle says, “We wanted to bring that European sensibility—one of pausing to enjoy life—to the U.S. market. When you are traveling in Europe and the sun is shining, if you find a beautiful square you take a moment to relax and have a nice experience before moving forward. Like that, we try to offer a lifestyle that pleasurably blends work life and personal life with art, places to meet people, and an overall atmosphere that is relaxing but also stimulating and thought-provoking.”

Noting that many entrepreneurs enjoy music, videos, and podcasts while exercising or relaxing, Racle says future extensions of the Unpacked campaign will include podcasts, unique digital experiences, and in-market activations, and will feature other brand collaborators. However, he adds, in keeping with the brand, it won’t be an intrusive popup foisted upon them, but instead, something people want to know more about, content found by searching.

“We’re really here to provide a moment of reflection, where you will start to realize a lot of small details have been put together to create a beautiful experience.”