When the world shut down in 2020, travelers and adventurers of all kinds found themselves at a standstill. Once a booming market, hospitality suddenly saw record low bookings and travel. When it was safe to travel again, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts was eager to welcome guests back safely and enthusiastically.
As their full-suite marketing agency, Ideas Collide knew just how important the campaign messaging had to be to ensure travelers felt comfortable visiting Best Western hotels again. The award-winning “See you Soon” campaign, which launched in the summer of 2021, reassured travelers that they would find care, cleanliness and joy whenever they were ready to venture out again.
Creative strategy revitalizes hotel bookings
Ideas Collide, a Best Western agency partner since 2005, created a campaign that revitalized bookings during the peak summer travel season in 2021 by leveraging innovative marketing strategies and techniques that connected with travelers across multiple touch points. The campaign was supported by relatable visuals and scenarios. Heartfelt messaging invited travelers, whenever they were ready to venture out again, to consider Best Western as their preferred hospitality partner in their triumphant return to travel.
"We knew how strongly consumers wanted to get back to traveling, and Best Western was eager to safely welcome them back. Our messaging focused on ‘when you're ready to travel again, we'll see you soon’ – encouraging travel all while keeping guests’ comfort and well-being in mind."
Storytelling leads to strong multi-channel marketing execution
The “See You Soon” campaign leveraged placements across social media, TV, digital advertising and influencer content to effectively reach travelers at every touch point and drive increased awareness of Best Western. Ideas Collide executed strategic media buys and native placements that further optimized the campaign, resulting in increased bookings.
Social Media Influencers
A key campaign channel was influencer marketing to amplify social reach with engaging content designed specifically for brand audiences. Just like Best Western’s core audience, these influencers were ready to get back to traveling safely.
Each influencer brought their travel stories to life by covering not only various types of properties within the brand but also the rich and diverse communities around them, like Berkeley, Savannah, Colorado Springs and Alberta, Canada to name just a few.
Influencers produced 16 unique videos each that proved to be successful. The “See You Soon” social media influencer campaign, which was nationally recognized as a Platinum Award Winner at the HSMAI Adrian Awards, garnered impressive results:
More than 2 million views
Average view rate of 50.51%
Average cost per view of $0.05
To view all the influencer videos, visit Best Western’s YouTube page.
One of the campaign’s most powerful channels was television, as it allowed for visuals and a voice-over that truly spoke to viewers’ hearts. Ideas Collide’s production team produced a 30-second TV commercial inviting travelers to choose one of Best Western’s many locations as their home away from home. The TV and digital commercials captured additional audiences in the moment with unskippable ads.
Best Western added increased value to its message with a generous offer that rewarded loyal guests and incentivized hesitant travelers. Guests received a $20 Best Western gift card for every night they stayed that summer.
Over 4 million visits to Best Western hotels could be tracked to viewing the TV commercial.
With experience creating interactive campaigns for Best Western, Ideas Collide’s social media and digital strategy team went to work to produce a suite of assets to support the “See You Soon” campaign online.
Digital advertising, including banner ads, positioned the message on travel inspiration channels to ensure the brand was top of mind during the travel planning process. Paid and organic social media, paired with influencer videos, provided highly targeted messages that drove meaningful traffic to web pages updated with consistent, relevant content.
A multi-million dollar impact yields impressive results
At a time that was critical for both the brand and the hospitality industry as a whole, the results of the campaign were significant. Ideas Collide helps each of our clients set goals that can be measured, and at the end of the day, show meaningful impact for the client’s business.
Our highly versatile account team, in collaboration with our digital strategy and production teams, was able to help Best Western reach its audience across the media ecosystem to drive booking and exceed the ROAS goal (return on advertising spend). Campaigns were measured against ROAS for social and digital display channels and reach for TV, digital video and audio.
Welcoming guests back into its hotels with a gift that incentivized future visits simultaneously rewarded Best Western’s most valuable customers and drove business for its member hotels.
The campaign’s significant ROI was driven by guests who returned to Best Western when redeeming their gift cards. Besides the campaign’s immediate returns, Ideas Collide aimed to foster customer loyalty for Best Western for many years to come.
When building a campaign strategy that will make an impact, it’s important to utilize key messages that will resonate with your target audience while also staying on brand.
It was the winning combination of empathy and generosity messages that proved vital to Best Western’s success during the unprecedented times the pandemic presented. Ideas Collide capitalized on Best Western’s core values to employ this spirit of caring and best-in-class hospitality to all travelers.