Hotel Tonight

The Brief

To launch in Australia, global hotel booking app HotelTonight needed to raise national brand awareness that positioned the company as a ‘disrupter’ in the hotel booking industry. A key USP for the brand was a focus on carefully curated, unique hotel properties that are quirky and outside the normal selection of hotels offered by traditional OTAs. We needed to communicate both of these elements to consumers Australia-wide and we needed to do it quickly to meet the brands aggressive growth targets.

What we did

We developed a unique brand asset that would physically represent the brand personality and USPs. Introducing The Spontaneity Suite – Australia’s first travelling hotel suite – completely self-contained and transportable via road or rail to absolutely anywhere in the country.

In September, we dropped the suite on top of a hill in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley overlooking mountains and a vineyard. In November, we floated it on Australia’s iconic Sydney Harbour where it was accessible only by boat.

How we did it

To amplify the brand’s “Plan Less, Live More” mantra, we developed a game of lottery whereby the suite was listed in the app for $32,000 a night as a bookable property and then ‘dropped’ to $99 for three nights.

Powered by PR, marketing and social media tactics this price drop created a great deal of anticipation and excitement with existing and new users watching the app intensely, all vying to book the hotel for $99.


Why it worked

Spending 7 days in each location, and in the lead up to the 3 “price drop” nights, we used a mixture of PR, influencer engagement, media famils, events and partnerships to drive consumer hysteria around booking the once in a lifetime experience.

In the nights leading up to the price drop we allowed journalists for daily metro, online and broadcast publications to stay in the suite. To create an air of exclusivity and to amplify via social and traditional media we invited one celeb to stay at each location on the first night. This gave the media time to collect images of the celeb from social media before the embargo lifted 24 hours before the first stay.

The Results

The campaign made the front page of News Limited and Fairfax travel sections and most major online news and lifestyle sites, as well as metro print titles on the day the embargo was lifted. We also received great pick up from broadcast, with Sunrise, a national morning show hosting all morning weather crosses (8 in total) from the rooftop Jacuzzi.

Global coverage included a full page article in the Taiwanese magazine Traveler Luxe, articles Mashable Australia and the US as well as Lonely Planet and lifestyle publications in Germany and Greece.

The campaign reached 130,788,511 people globally via broadcast, print and online media, with coverage valued at $4,818,786.

HotelTonight experienced record app opens, 50,000 over two days during the floating hotel activation. This compared with an average of 5,000 per week in established markets. The suite sold in under a second each time the price dropped.

Downloads peaked in each city during the time the Spontaneity Suite was active, with 50,000 generated from the campaign.