Our objective was to drive relevance and build mindshare with consumers throughout the year. To do this, we developed a strategy to monitor current pop culture trends and conversations, and identify moments where Days Inn could jump in and engage audiences in an authentic and relevant way.
Our target audience is young, on-the-go American families and friends. Days Inn wants them to see how the brand has evolved, understand what it stands for today, and book with us again and again.
By monitoring the news of the day and trending conversations, we identified a prime opportunity for Days Inn to act during the 2018 Academy Awards.
During the live airing, host Jimmy Kimmel joked that he would reward the Oscar winner with the shortest speech of the night with a Jet Ski and a two-night stay at Days Inn by Wyndham Lake Havasu.
The shout out immediately sparked conversation on social media around Kimmel poking fun at Days Inn in a light-hearted, comedic way. We had a choice: Wait out the conversation or jump in and influence it. We chose the latter and quickly responded on Twitter. We offered all red-carpet nominees who didn't win a trophy a free stay at the Days Inn Lake Havasu location in order to make their day brighter. From there, we pitched our response to travel, hospitality, news and entertainment media outlets.
In an effort to shift perceptions and drive consideration, the underlying message we wanted to convey is Days Inn helps guests seize every moment of every day by bringing people together. We did this by joining a major pop culture conversation and driving relevance with younger travelers. The differentiator is that we haven't seen any hotel brands in the economy segment successfully capitalizing on pop culture moments in real-time to drive buzz.
Our smart social media offer was a viral sensation. "Not everyone at the Academy Awards was a winner, but Days Inn stepped in to make their nights a little brighter" hailed People.com. We were able to capitalize on one of the most-watched and most-Tweeted-about pop culture moments of the year and make headlines in mainstream outlets like E! News, Travel + Leisure, FOX News, Travel Weekly, PR Week, Adweek, Daily Blast Live, and more ― outlets Days Inn had never been in before. All told, jumping on this opportunistic moment in real-time generated more than 40 media stories and 187 million earned media impressions. Beyond coverage, our organic Tweet sparked social media buzz with more than 1,000 likes/replies/comments and the conversation about Days Inn and the Oscars generated 8.6 million social media impressions. Overall, it was an Oscar-worthy performance!
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