Promo, Case study VIRTUAL VACAY by Y&R Midwest Chicago

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Industry Hotels & Resorts
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Y&R Midwest Chicago
Creative Director Sonya Grewal
Art Director Richard Fischer
Copywriter Evan Thompson
Producer Jayson Miller
Released April 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Other Digital Media, including Mobile Devices
Advertiser: HOTELS.COM
Date of First Appearance: Apr 28 2010 12:00AM
Entrant Company: Y&R CHICAGO, USA
Entry URL:
Chief Creative Officer: Ken Erke (Y&R Chicago)
Creative Director: Sonya Grewal (Y&R Chicago)
Copywriter: Evan Thompson (Y&R Chicago)
Art Director: Richard Fischer (Y&R Chicago)
Producer: Jayson Miller (Y&R Chicago)
Executive Agency Producer: Brian Smego (Y&R Chicago)
Media placement: Print - Wired, PC Magazine, Other Tech/culture Magazines - April 2010
Media placement: Augmented Reality Site - Internet - 4/28/2010

Results and Effectiveness
In the first three days alone, total views numbered more than 8300, with a click-through rate to of 15%, far exceeding expectations.

Creative Execution
Leaning into the claymated, hand-made world of the existing TV campaign, we wanted to create an entertaining, interactive researching experience that put the brand right in the consumers’ hands. And so, was born. A unique augmented reality experience that, for the first time ever, combines webcam motion detection, microphone interactivity, real-time event and weather feeds, and augmented reality technology. Led by the claymated character, Smart, visitors to the site don’t just get a personal tour of 10 US cities. They can hold them in the palm of their hand. While seeing the sights, visitors learn interesting facts, can take pictures to send to friends, take part in unique tourist interactions, and of course book a hotel on To drive traffic to the site, we made the AR marker readily accessible in magazines, newspapers, and banner ads, as well as allowing access to it on any smartphone.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
When the economy took a downturn, like most industries, the online travel business went down with it. Even the most avid travelers started to make hotel-booking decisions based on one budget-cutting fact alone: Who has the best price? Not only that, but economists encouraged people to cut travel out of their budget. Words like, ‘Staycation’ started to appear in our vocabulary. And once avid vacationers traded in a week at the beach for a weekend of camping in the backyard. Our objective became clear: Let’s get people excited about travelling again. Coupled with the fact that for an online travel agency, didn’t have much of an online advertising presence, we set out to create a virtual world that would give any travel-hungry consumer an engaging, entertaining way to not just research upcoming vacations. But make them feel like they were already on one at the same time.