KEYS ADRIFT – OPENING OF STORA HOTELLET
|KEYS ADRIFT – OPENING OF STORA HOTELLET
|B03. CONSUMER SERVICES
WENDERFALCK Stockholm, SWEDEN
WENDERFALCK Stockholm, SWEDEN
|Key Account Manager
After an extensive renovation, Stora Hotellet in Umeå was ready to be re-opened in March, 2014. Most hotel openings are done in a similar way with a flashy event for a selected few, but we wanted to do things differently. Through an engaging social media campaign we reached almost 60 percent of the people in Umeå, around 25 percent of the population took part in the campaign and on opening night the hotel was filled with ordinary citizens of Umeå eager to keep on spreading the word about Stora Hotellet.
In the research we found that the openings had been described as VIP events. Most hotel openings are done by some kind of opening party for specially invited and these events do very seldom result in social media buzz and consumer engagement.
We wanted the opening of Stora Hotellet to be including and welcoming towards people of Umeå and not just a few VIP people. Hence, we needed to find a solution where we got people interested in the hotel and a way of getting them to talk to friends and family and spread the word in their social networks.
The campaign was a huge success and reached almost 60 percent of the people in Umeå. More impressive is the fact that 25 percent of the population actually took part in the campaign and that 13 percent (almost 15 000 people) were running around Umeå, trying to find a key to the hotel.
During the campaign you could see people sitting in their cars at famous places (and thereby possible hiding places) in Umeå. At the end of the campaign period you could see up to 10 people running towards a hiding place within less than five minutes after the clues were presented on storahotelletumea.se.
The campaign were covered in all local media, including tv and many national and international travel magazine. But most important – on the opening night the hotel was filled with citizens of Umeå eager to keep promoting Stora Hotellet to friends, family and networks.
We created the concept “keys adrift” (playing with the fact that Stora Hotellet in the beginning was a hotel for sailors). Instead of inviting selected people to an opening event we presented a competition were keys to the rooms at the hotel were hidden somewhere in Umeå. We selected places in Umeå that are famous or of historical importance to show that we wish to promote Umeå.
At noon every day during the campaign we presented clues on storahotelletumea.se. The clues pointed to a place somewhere in Umeå where the keys were hidden. The first one to get to that place and find a key got two tickets to the opening event, dinner and accommodation at the hotel. To get more clues people could connect with Facebook and encourage friends to participate in the competition. In that way we got the social media buzz we were depending on.
During 2014 three new hotels were opening in the city of Umeå (population: 114 000). During the same period we were to re-open an existing hotel with the same name as earlier. The hotel had been thoroughly renovated and we needed to get the people and media interested in Stora Hotellet. We also knew that previous hotel openings in the city had been described as VIP events for celebrities and not necessarily for the public.We needed the people of Umeå to feel that Stora Hotellet is “their” hotel and the one they would recommend to friends and family visiting Umeå.
The planning process resulted in a clear strategy that the opening should not be a VIP event, but instead dedicated to all the people of Umeå. To get people involved and wanting to spread the word about Stora Hotellet we also decided that some kind of gamification methodology would be the best solution.
Another important part was that we wanted to strengthen the connection between the people of Umeå and Stora Hotellet. Since we wanted the people of Umeå to promote Stora Hotellet we also thought that we would try to find a way for Stora Hotellet to promote Umeå in our campaign.