Westin Hotels & Resorts is rolling out "5-minute vacations" that let Web surfers zone out to soothing music and shots of trees in autumn or the Boston skyline, including multimedia online tours of various locales, like New York, Paris, Toronto and Maui.

The program, called Westin Sights & Sounds, was created by MSN. Consumers who visit MSN's network will see ads imploring them to take some time out to relax. The idea, said Sue Brush, svp-Westin Hotels, is to provide an experience that consumers will link to the brand. "They might say, 'Maybe the next time I travel, I'll consider Westin," said Brush. The company will determine from incremental online bookings and other measurements, how well the campaign is working, she added.

Cameron Death, director of branded entertainment at MSN, said such experiences prompt consumers to stick around for six to eight minutes, on average, which makes those consumers 95% more likely to purchase such services, he said. "The way we look at branded entertainment is providing engaging content experiences that happen to be brought to you by a brand," said Death. "This is not about pounding people over the head with Westin."

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