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From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Stories From the Road: Human Hug Project

Entered in Hospitality, Social Good Campaign


In today's competitive marketplace, 85% of consumers think more favorably of and are more apt to support businesses that stand for a good cause. Understanding a brand's emotional purpose fuels a deeper connection between a consumer and a brand. With more and more people seeking this meaningful connection, Super 8's goal was to create more engaging and emotional content to show that we stand for far more than just budget-travel. Or, just travel.

With the travel category as the noisiest social category on the internet, Super 8 set out to create authentic content with a compelling storyline that could break through the clutter and connect with our consumers at a deeper level.

Strategy and Execution

As guests' companion on the road, Super 8 celebrates and welcomes members of the military year-round with a promotional discount and reserved Veteran parking. Our strategy was to take our support to the next level by partnering with the Human Hug Project to share their cause. Through this authentic storytelling, the goal was to identify and tap into high affinity military and Veteran communities and to have them share, participate, and engage with our branded content to fuel new emotional connections with Super 8.

In 2015, veterans Ian and Gino, and Erin, a Marine Corps wife who experienced war and its aftermath at home, founded the Human Hug Project with the goal of supporting veterans through the healing power of hugs. Together they know the anxiety and isolation faced by combat veterans who have returned home from war. Their objective is a simple one: travel across the country to bring awareness to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and give hugs to veterans at VA Medical Centers and anyone else in need of a loving embrace.

We captured the Human Hug Project's journey on the road and told their story through #HeroesWelcome, a share-worthy content and social program that recognizes all that our service men and women do for our country.

The #HeroesWelcome campaign launched in paid, owned, and earned marketing channels around Veterans Day. Using video and supporting micro-content as a means of connecting relevant audiences to the Human Hug Project story, we created an emotional connection to Super 8's military support, as well as overall awareness and affinity for the Super 8 brand.


Through our social media strategy we generated over 7MM impressions, 2MM video views and nearly 2MM engagements that proved to resonate greatly with the military community. As an extension to our social media strategy, our integrated campaign received 25 pieces of press coverage with readership of 162MM, reached an additional 8MM impressions across display media, and the brand saw a 34% year-over-year increase of our military promotion.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Questus, Wyndham Hotel Group – Super 8


Entry Credits