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On the second day of Customer Expo 2018, leaders from several brands gathered in a breakout session to present on the subject of brand collaboration.
The first to speak was Fred Pratt, Director of Marketing for Best Western. He talked about his company’s collaboration with Disney, which is now 10 years old. “Who wouldn’t want to collaborate with Disney?” he asked. “It’s one of the most iconic brands in the world.”
Each summer Disney has released a major movie marketed at families, it works in partnership with Best Western. Pratt said, “The reason that it’s a great relationship and partnership is because the Disney brand, their prime customer is the family, the children.” Families are also, of course, one of Best Western’s core demographics each summer.
One summer, the two brands put together a sweepstakes entitled “Descendants 2 and You.” The grand-prize was a chance to meet two Disney stars and undergo a transformation to look like your favorite Descendants character. It was the perfect prize for kids.
The goal was to get 1 million entries, while driving hotel reservations and viewership of the movie, among other objectives. The two companies launched a multi-media campaign. On Disney’s side, there were numerous TV spots, and on both sides, the brands used social media outreach and on-property ads.
The two brands also launched a Snapchat campaign. They found that of the social platforms, it was the one that was most-used by their young, target audience. In addition, guests at any of Best Western’s 2,200 North American properties could get a special Snapcode from in-hotel displays that would instantly grant them digital entry to the sweepstakes.
The brands also engaged users with a special 24-hour Snapchat “lens” that would make their selfies look like Descendants 2 characters. Anyone who used the lens would soon be sent a swipe-up video that took them to the sweepstakes entry page.
According to Pratt, “It really was record-breaking for the whole 10-year history that we’ve been working for Disney.” The brands more than exceeded their target of a million entries by 200,000. The Snapchat lens had 41 million impressions. Over 300,000 entries in the sweepstakes came from the in-hotel Snapcodes.
“As a complement of the overall summer strategy with this Disney Partnership, we drew a 30 percent increase in room-nights and a 35 percent increase in room rentals,” said Pratt. He stated that the Snapchat Discover feature played a significant role in reaching the target demographic.
Pratt also noted that all this success came from an investment of less than a million dollars from Best Western. He concluded that the campaign “enabled us to connect with the audience in a fun way and in a way that was creative and authentic for them, and positioned Best Western as an innovative company that was a proud, honored partner of the Disney family.”
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