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During a global pandemic, there was very little for an online travel agent to do other than mildly panic about the no-fly zone that was Planet Earth. However, not one to stand still, Manifest and Hotels.com knew we needed to go all-in on culture, content and conversation, and there was only ONE home for that on the socials; Twitter.
The highlight of our UK Twitter launch was Hotel Room 101; a #1 UK Twitter trend and audience engagement campaign that out-tweeted Trump, knocked UK politics off the trending charts, and lit up timelines from morning until night.
Hotels.com speak to the emerging traveller. A millennial mindset where impulse travel, seeking a break to play, and craving surprise is everything. During the pandemic, finding impulse or a break to play was impossible so we had to dig deeper. Manifest focused on the audience’s mindset and paired it with Twitter’s cultural relevancy and ability to connect with in-the-moment conversation. Through culture, content, and conversation, we gave impulse travellers something to talk about. Best of all, the irreverent tone of voice we built for Hotels.com ensured everything was delivered with a punch.
Manifest has always built Hotels.com to be a place of irreverent comedy and purposeful light. It is at the heart of our multichannel digital strategy as well as the focus of our work on Twitter where we know people are prone to tweet every sour thought and feeling. NOT on the Hotels.com channel though. It was time to banish the negative to a place no one could find it. Hotel Room 101.
First, we found the format; we knew the Room 101 show was popular with our audience. Tick. Secondly, we knew British people turned to Twitter to highlight the things that really ground their gears. Tick. Finally, we had our place in the world – the irreverent commentary brand. Only Hotels.com could take the doom scroll and turn it into pure irreverent entertainment. We took over timelines, we turned negative thoughts into rewards and brand engagement, and we lit up Twitter.
Hotel Room 101 was a 10-hour conversation with the British public. Where most brands see their tweets live for seconds, our engagement-first approach to the campaign ensured whether you were tweeting over breakfast or scrolling away your afternoon, you would not miss the conversation we started.
The first content callout went out at 8am. We knew UGC was going to be the driving force of our nomination mechanic, so we tweeted early and used paid Twitter ads – to both existing followers and lookalike audiences – to boost reach. This created our initial groundswell of conversation, brought in early nominations and the Manifest social team were live to like, reply, and retweet in our trademark irreverent way.
As the comments continued, the Manifest social team created a live campaign asset – a branded hotel room filling with nominations. On the hour every hour we posted an updated graphic to ensure we consistently kept momentum, a tricky task in an ever-changing newsfeed. We also optimised our paid targeting, adding new audience and interest targeting based on what we were seeing in the nominations.
Throughout the day the campaign shot up the UK trends charts until we hit NUMBER 1 UK TREND with our hashtag #HotelRoom101. We beat politics, a rant from Trump and someone marrying a man called Todger Strunk! British people loved the name Todger but not as much as they loved Hotel Room 101. Tweets flew and top tier British media also covered our amazing campaign.