Meliá Hotels International (MHI), the largest hotel chain in Spain, has been enjoying continuous strong growth globally. But to maintain this trajectory, they have to win over the biggest hospitality battleground: Chinese travellers.
Red Bridge was appointed to lead MHI’s Asia communications program, which starts by conquering the China market.
LIMITED CHINA FOOTPRINT
MHI only has two properties in China. To put this into context, competitor groups would have anywhere between 30 to 100 China properties; and with scale comes awareness.
Given MHI’s China market contribution to global revenue is limited, so was our budget.
HIGHLY COMPETITIVE & UNDIFFERENTIATED MARKET
International hotel brands have become homogenised – different name above the door, but same offer, same marketing tactics.
Passion for Spanish heritage & culture.
Our program was developed to raise in-market brand awareness through the publicity of MHI’s outbound portfolio amongst China’s emerging independent travellers.
To make a connection means we had to shift MHI’s position from a hospitality provider to something more personal, something independent travellers connect with and aspire to.
First, we needed to be authentic. We went back to the heart of MHI’s DNA – its Spanish heritage, culture and passion. Something no other brands can own.
Second, we needed strong differentiators against fierce competition. We flipped our disadvantage of having smaller a footprint on its head and positioned MHI as a global travel companion, passionate about providing travellers with authentic local experiences in and out of its hotels.
Entertaining, enlightening & inspiring.
THE BIG IDEA
365 DAYS OF TRAVEL
Whilst most hotel brands were preoccupied with pushing new hotel openings, facilities and promotional deals, we took an unprecedented commitment to producing a bespoke branded travel content series that entertains, enlightens and inspires.
Through the ‘365 DAYS OF TRAVEL’ integrated campaign, we were able to create a distinct brand lifestyle that frames the core differentiators of MHI’s offering and built a multi-dimensional brand that lives and breathes with the travellers of today.
Capturing engagement via multi-channels.
THE EXECUTION & TACTICS
We adopted a content-driven multichannel program to achieve optimised brand impact amongst our digitally savvy and socially active target audience.
WeChat, the multimedia content platform, was used to publish weekly magazine-quality editorial. Weibo, which increasingly functions like Twitter, was used as an interactive brand catalogue, with beautiful visuals and a much more spontaneous daily content plan that adapts to the latest travel topics to achieve maximised organic viewership and engagement.
Traditional media was targeted with the most popular social editorials for a second round of amplification. A diverse range of travel, lifestyle, fashion and design media was also selected for our interest-based experience media program which allowed greater access of global MHI properties beyond organised FAM trips. We provided customised overseas accommodation solutions based on a balance of media’s editorial requirements, personal interests and travel preferences, and built authentic brand advocacy amongst our valuable media partners with little impact on budget.
It’s all in the numbers.
TOTAL BRAND VIEWERSHIP GENERATED ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2015
TOTAL CONSUMERS ENGAGED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2015
TOTAL CONSUMERS RECRUITED ACROSS WEIBO & WECHAT IN 2015
TOTAL IMPRESSIONS GENERATED IN TRADITIONAL MEDIA IN 2015
TOTAL TRADITIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE IN PR VALUE (USD) IN 2015