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HILTON WORLDWIDE - Stop Clicking Around

In a collaborative effort across global teams, media and creative partners, Hilton launches a unique, innovative, multi-platform campaign to re-educate consumers to Book Direct.

The impact of the online travel agencies (OTAs) on global travel and hospitality has been phenomenal, each claiming to give the best travel and accommodation options and prices. Whilst recognising the influence that the OTA’s have on increasing hotel visibility, Hilton wanted to change both consumer perception (of where they could get the best deal) and behaviour – convincing them to book direct with Hilton for their next hotel stay.

Consumer research studies show price and value are a central factor when it comes to choosing a hotel, relying on consumers shopping around and dedicating hours to internet search to find the best deals.  With this insight, Hilton developed a strategy to target consumers in the earliest stages of planning a holiday – the ‘dreaming’ phase – and showing how they could skip the endless browsing to focus simply on holidaying.

Changing mind-sets and, ultimately booking behaviour, required a disruptive idea. Rather than waste time clicking, we urged consumers to ‘Stop Clicking Around’ and start living, relaxing and discovering, all while saving. Booking direct would prove more beneficial than venturing to OTA’s for bookings, as Hilton offers exclusive discounted rates on rooms, in addition to industry-leading benefits for members of the Hilton HHonors programme.

Through a consolidated, major global marketing initiative, Hilton’s ‘Stop Clicking Around’ campaign was the company’s largest marketing initiative in almost a century. 

One of the first key initiatives to align with the global launch was a team engagement and on-property activation; an internal launch integral to the successful delivery of the Book Direct message at all consumer touchpoints. Hotel teams were issued with wearable merchandise; elevators were wrapped; digital plasma screens updated; and key cards / key wallets supplied with ‘Stop Clicking Around’ messaging.

Outside of the hotel environment, the campaign launched with a heavyweight push in February, leading with a bespoke experiential takeover in London. Working in partnership with PR, Event and Hilton HHonors teams, Stop Clicking Around fever hit King’s Cross station with an eye-catching stunt.  This allowed us to reach high volumes of consumers, as well as delivering key messages from the campaign and encouraging social engagement and Hilton HHonors sign-ups. Passers-by were invited to Stop Clicking Around and Start Winning by clicking on a giant mouse to try and match Hilton brands to win. Those matching at least 2 brands won a host of prizes, from £100 Hilton HHonors gift cards, to a 14 night holiday anywhere in the world!
· 837 people played the game within a 13 hour timeframe
· More than 260,151 reached on social media through posts, tweets and shares on the day
· 5.5 million heard about the campaign on Smooth Radio across the country

In order to reach travellers at every part of the consumer journey, a broader communication plan was also implemented, including tried and tested media (print / OOH / display) and new media opportunities – optimised across key markets and target audience segments. Our choice of channels, including everything from laptops and smartphones, to TV and cinema, connected the message to the right media and the right audience. By doing this we brought the creative to life, grabbing consumers’ attention in crucial moments and key spaces, before they were ready to visit online travel agencies.

We created a truly global campaign, with over 800 assets in 18 languages, including:
· Hilton’s biggest ever TV campaign launched in February (including a first ever TV ad in the UK), with breakthrough moments in must-watch TV events like the England Six Nations rugby match and Britain’s Got Talent.  Coverage 78% and a strong SOV of 20% (in the top three) among key competitors.
· Cinema premium placements, BA and Emirates inflight video advertising allowed us to engage captive audiences.
· New media initiatives included extensive use of VOD and animated digital assets to meet the increasing demand for mobile / digital immersive marketing experiences and targeting consumers while they were already ‘clicking’.
· A weekly rotation of different print creatives throughout the campaign reinforced the message by showcasing all the things travellers could be doing instead of clicking around – be it playing, indulging, or exploring.

Overall, the results of our multi-platform, cross-market campaign exceeded expectation.

In a highly cluttered category, we achieved great campaign cut-through, brand recognition and consideration, with a resultant significant change in consumer behaviour and attitudes:
· Over 300 million media impacts delivered from February to May across EMEA
· Web direct bookings EMEA up 1.6% for the first 5 months of the year vs last year
· Web direct revenue EMEA up 27% vs 2015 and web direct visits up 11%
· 50% of UK hotel travellers exposed to the campaign are now more likely to book direct
· Driving loyalty with Hilton HHonors enrolments up 63% YOY