Marriott Enter Moscow Market with Opening of Grand Hotel
The latest addition to Moscow's growing top class hotel sector came on line with the opening of the multi-million dollar Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel on Tverskaya ulitsa.
The five-star hotel, located on one of Moscow's most prestigious streets opened for business on 25th August and is particularly significant as Marriot's first venture into the unchartered waters of Russian market. "Marriot's international strategic growth plan is to be present in all of the major capitals of the world and being represented in Moscow is part of that plan", said June Farrell at Marriot's US headquarters.
"We only began our international growth programme in earnest in 1991 and prior to (before) that we only had 16 hotels outside the US. Today, we have an international hotel portfolio (зд. network) of 200 hotels and the timing of our entryinto Russia has simply been a factor of finding the right opportunity," she said.
The nine floor hotel will offer 392 deluxe rooms including 24 suites as well as restaurants and bars, indoor swimming pool, health club and a business centre. Rooms are expected to range from as low as USD 300 per night up to USD 1,400 for the presidential suite.
The hotel should considerably enliven a Moscow hotel sector that has already undergone facelift in the last five years. As well as the expensive refurbish merits given to some of the Russian capital's older establishments such as the Metropol and the National, other new developments in recent years have included the Palace, the Tverskaya, the Sofitel and the Novotel in a sector that is becoming increasingly competitive. Additionally, it would probably not be Marriot's last venture on Russian market.
"Once having established a beachhead in the capital city of a country, we look for opportunities in other cities and business centres in the country, airport locations as well as resorts in established destinations," said Farrell.
Already, it is rumoured that Marriott, which is the franchise partner on the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel, is involved in a hotel project in Nizhny Novgorod although Marriot representatives were not ready to confirm this.
Other firms involved in the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel include the Interstate Hotels Corporation, which holds the management contract, and Mospromstroy, the hotel contractor.
Комментарии unchartered waters – зд. «целина», неизвестность;
in earnest = seriously, concretely;
facelift = change;
refurbishment = overhauling (капремонт);
beachhead – плацдарм;
franchise – франчайзинг (предоставление товарного знака и «ноу-хау»).
Тема: Media and Advertising
The Price of Advertising
Advertising, which is as American as French fries, English muffins and Chinese takeout, saturates society with an incessant barrage. Most people develop mental filters to soften the sensory blitzkrieg, lest they go bonkers, and they respond to the barrage with boredom, which is a kind of criticism.
However, bored or not by advertising that assails eye, ear and even nose (some magazines contain scent strips1advertising colognes), people are collaborating with the perpetrators of it (those who do it). So argues James Twitchell in an essay published in WQ, the invaluable quarterly of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Mr. Twitchell, who teaches English at the University of Florida, should not expect thanks for pointing out that people are paying for advertisements twice. They pay in the price of the product advertised, and they pay in the form of the attention they pay to the advertisements.
Advertising agencies exist to rent (зд. sell) our attention to people with goods or services to sell. Try to think when your attention is not rented. Many college sports teams have Nike's swooshes on their jerseys. Soft drink and other companies pay for "product placement" in movies. When you are put on hold (зд. ожидание, пауза) on the telephone you often areplied with commercial communications, which also appear in urinals, on grocery store shopping carts, on video screens attached to Stair Masters in gyms, in the first five minutes of rented movie videos.
Money or Attention?
Twitchell notes that public television has swarms of advertisements identified by the delicate euphemism "underwritingannouncements" and museum exhibits beat the logos of sponsoring corporations. "At the Smithsonian"2, Twitchell writes, "the Orkin Pest Control Company sponsored an exhibit on exactly what it advertises it kills: insects."
Twitchell is not scandalized by (shocked) these transactions, which is what they are. We give attention, we get things – from television programs to museum exhibits – not really "free," but cheaper that we otherwise would. "Given the choice between paying money and paying attention, we prefer to pay attention."
This is similar to other routine transactions. At McDonald's you go to the counter to order, carry your food to the table and clean up when finished, all in exchange for lower prices. You fill your own tank at the gas station for the same reason. And consuming ads is the "work" you do to lower the price of entertainment. Twitchell calls it that because it does not just entertain, it enculturates (enriches) you.
Too Much Choice?
Mass production gives us products that are barely distinguishable (Miller or Bud? Crest or Colgate?) until advertisinginfuses (fills) them with meaning. Grocery stores which two decades ago stocked 9,000 items now stock 30,000, Revlon makes 177 shades of lipstick, Crest comes in dozens of sizes, shapes and flavors. So billions of dollars are spent on advertising, largely to influence largely inexplicable, or at least barely rational, choices about these things. So it must be, Twitchell argues, when goods are interchangeable and in surplus (в изобилии, избытке), and consumers have enoughdisposable (free) time and money to consume both the ads and the products.
Twitchell has robust contempt for the intelligentsia's "downright supercilious" understanding of consumption, particularly the notion that, were it not for advertising, people would not want things. Our love of things, says Twitchell, is part of our nature; it was the cause, not the consequence, of the Industrial Revolution. Just as Orwell1 said there are some ideas so nuttythat only an intellectual can believe them, Twitchell argues that only a professoriate, housed in institutions of higher learning far from the marketplace, can entertain the hazy idea of a bygone golden age when people had pure and only natural needs.
Want a glimpse of the future? Twitchell says you've already had one if you have seen MTV, the Home Shopping Network or "informercials." Or if you have read magazines like Sony Style or Colors from Benetton that, unlike many women's magazines which blur the line between advertising and editorial content, erase (destroy) that line.
Today's sweep of advertising is the democracy of the marketplace, what Twilchell calls "the application of capitalism to culture: dollars voting." Where will it sweep next? Perhaps advertisements in books, where they once were. Twilchell recalls that in the late 1940s, Dr. Spock2 fought Pocket Books to have cigarette ads removed from his baby care book. Books might remain one of the last redoubts of advertisement-free America because, Twitchell says, "the prime audience for advertisers, namely the young, is functionally illiterate." That good news about books contains the bad news: books do not have a bright future.
George F. Will
Комментарии muffins – тип кекса;
takeout = take-out food;
go bankers = to go crazy (nuts);
saturates = infuses; fills with;
barrage – вал;
assails = attacks;
Nike swoosh = the company emblem («загогулина»);
Stair Master = gym equipment in the form of moving steps;
swarms = lots of (cp. sweep);
underwriting – зд. оплаченные;
robust = healthy;
downright supercilious = totally contemptuous;
to entertain = зд. to consider (an idea);
bygone = long gone;
blur— зд. «размывают»;
prime = best (cp. prime time, «прайм тайм» ТВ).
Do you like watching TV commercials? Do you think they're useful? Which of the latest TV spots did you dislike (like) most of all? Do you prefer Russian-made commercials to Western ones? Do ads or commercials sometimes influence your choice of goods? Do you agree with the author's idea that ads are "the necessary evil"?
Тема: Язык и общество
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