Worst Motto Ever?

The Hilton’s motto is, “Travel Should Take You Places.”

My colleague Nick commented yesterday that, as mottos go, this is a pretty stupid one. As a statement of fact, it’s pretty right-on. Dictionary.com defines “travel” as a verb meaning “to go from one place to another.” So, yes, it should take you places, or to a place, at least.

As a sentence expressed ironically, this one has some power. If you are stuck in your plane, on the tarmac, going into your second hour, and your seatmate turns to you and says, “travel should take you places,” you would probably huff exasperated agreement. ¬†As a hotel motto, though?

What doe Hilton mean? “Travel should take you places, and when you get to those places, Hilton will be there?” Or do they mean something more about the hotel chain itself? Are they implying that each Hilton is site-specific and unique? “Travel should take you places, not just to a hotel that looks exactly like the one you were in last night?” This might be the case. The Hilton up the road from my office, where we saw this logo at our strategic plannning meeting, is themed around wine tasting and has detailed maps and information about more than 300 local wineries–so it probably isn’t just like the Aspen Hilton. So it could mean that.

If I have to do this much analysis of the motto, it might not be working as a motto.

The facilitator for our meeting also does some sales work and he’s very big on “messaging” and “brands” and slogans, etc. We told him to leave his card with the front desk on the way out. Hilton could use his help.

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