WORLD’S BIGGEST BED JUMP for Intercontinental Hotels

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WORLD’S BIGGEST BED JUMP

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Industry Hotels & Resorts
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market China
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Travel, Tourism & Leisure
Advertiser: INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP
Product/Service: HOTEL SERVICE
Managing Director: David Zhao (Hill & Knowlton)
Account Director: Maggie Lu (Hill & Knowlton)
Account Executive: Titus Lee (Hill & Knowlton)
Account Executive: Michelle You (Hill & Knowlton)
Media placement: Global mini-site - http://www.worldsbiggestbedjump.com/ - April 2009
Media placement: online video/ photo release - Youtube, Twitter, etc. - May 2009
Media placement: Print/ audiovisual/ online media outreach - CCTV, BBC, etc. - May 2009

Summary of the Campaign
At a time when the global hotel industry was struggling with recession, one hotel group came up with an idea to turn heads towards their beds. InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) needed to increase the occupancy level in all of their global hotels. The promotion 'Biggest Free Nights Offer' gave guests one free night in any of its 4,000 hotels, with a booking of two nights or more. An unusual and very visual event, the 'World’s Biggest Bed Jump' was held in conjunction with the offer in four strategic cities – Shanghai, Paris, London and New York – to launch the promotion and generate worldwide buzz. The project worked as an effective way to promote all IHG brands at once, while leveraging its size and scale to stand out amongst the competition. In China, the campaign resulted in wide online and traditional media coverage and the event attracted more than 10,000 people. The promotion created an astonishing rise in occupancy during the promotional period, at a time when many other hotel groups experienced major sales dips.

The Goal
IHG's various global brands such as the InterContinential, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn generally target different consumer segments and thus individual campaigns are normally varied. It was understood that this promotion needed to leverage the size and scale of the International Hotel Group's brand as a whole - unifying each brand and promoting each hotel as part of a bigger picture, under one all-encompassing campaign to generate sales for all. Success was to be easily measured by increased sales and hotel room occupancy rates.

Results
Onsite participation was high. The event attracted thousands of passers-by, many of whom climbed up on the bed to join in the fun. It also attracted wide media coverage with more than 100 clippings generated in China alone. Twenty national and provincial TV channels covered the story while on the internet, the bed-jump and IHG’s 'Biggest Free Nights Offer' became the hot topic in the top 10 BBS forums - with up to 196,106 clicks. Photos of the day were uploaded to Google Earth where users who searched for the venue were able to see live streaming of the event. Cell phone news coverage also targeted millions of mobile phone users - helping to further spread the message. Perhaps most significantly, the campaign generated measurable sales results. More than 185,380 room night bookings were taken in China and USD 16,682,223 of revenue was generated.

Execution
The beds were designed in Britain and produced locally to ensure consistency in look/style from city to city. With the bed placed in the most popular pedestrian street in China – Nanjing Road - and similar venues selected in Paris, London and New York, pedestrian traffic was a given. The athletes performances on the trampolines added to the visual attraction, generating media and passer-by interest which resulted in more than 10,000 people joining the bed-jump in China alone. Journalists were invited to observe & participate and a global mini-site was created as the main promotional platform for the campaign. A coordinated release of video clip and photos of the event was sent to IHG's Twitter account and YouTube. Video clips were also sent to 10 major online video hosting websites in China. Utilising the popularity of social networking sites targeted specific customer segments and extended the reach of media coverage.

The Situation
The hotel industry was heavily affected by the economic downturn with business travelers undergoing budget cuts and leisure travel significantly declining. IHG, the world’s largest hotel group, was seeking ways to keep its loyal customers returning and attract new bookings from travelers worldwide. Competitor offers were springing up everywhere, making it hard for any single brand to stand out from the crowd. However, the numerous offerings by other hotels were sporadic, inconsistent and limited in their power to generate a leader. Thus an opportunity existed for IHG to create a unified and easily recognized promotion under their umbrella brand.

The Strategy
An integrated communications campaign involving online seeding and an offline event was designed to create a huge buzz. The campaign was centered on producing a very visual, record-breaking event in four big cities around the world - maximising public and media interest with a fun and unique subject matter while at the same time reinforcing the IHG brand portfolio with the general public. Design of the 'world’s biggest bed-jump' event saw a huge world record-breaking bed set up at the highest traffic venues in each city. Passers-by were invited to rediscover the youthful joy of jumping on a bed, while watching the visual spectacle of world famous gymnasts performing choreographed routines on strategically placed trampolines. The enormous bed was topped with 30 double mattresses and a huge supersized duvet that could cover 65 regular double-beds. As an eye-catching and completely unique event, wide attention and publicity was carefully planned.