In November 2018, Four Seasons announced a new initiative to collaborate with storytellers across all mediums and art forms – Envoy by Four Seasons. Envoy is the brand's response to the increasingly cluttered and homogenized online experience that emphasizes influencer follower counts and the impulse to post experiences in real-time instead of being present in the moment. The program's goal is to invite world-class creators to become Four Seasons "Envoys", sharing their perspective and stories about the unique and curated experiences that only Four Seasons can offer.
Envoys tell their stories through fresh and new perspectives, using mediums such as video, photography, art, music, poetry, prose or any other artistic expression that inspires them. Envoys are selected in a follower-blind process that evaluates the quality of storytelling within their submitted content, regardless of number of followers. Four Seasons partnered with five-time Emmy Award winning storytelling and film studio Muse Storytelling to capture and share the experience of the first Envoy, spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones, to inspire potential Envoys to apply to the program.
Primary objectives of the campaign were two-fold: 1) Gain brand and campaign exposure with travellers worldwide, potential customers, media, and industry leaders; 2) Drive application submissions from potential Envoys.
The key KPIs to measure these objectives on Instagram were reach/impressions, engagement, video views, and click-throughs to the campaign landing page.
Five cuts of a hero video, optimized for the different social media platforms, were produced to promote the program and encourage Envoy applications. Four Seasons worked with Muse Storytelling to create a social-first video that captured the attention of social media users in the first few seconds, showcasing sensorial images of Hualalai, Hawaii – immediately transporting audiences into a beautiful Hawaiian setting. By focusing on the first Envoy, spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones, the video brings the program to life and helps audiences quickly understand the Envoy concept from the point of view of the storyteller himself.
Each video was formatted for social media in-feed posts, with a square-crop ratio and a 32-second time frame for in-feed posts, and vertically formatted video assets for both Instagram Stories (three 10-second vertical videos) and IGTV (3-minute vertical video). We capitalized on the popularity of Instagram Stories and tested the IGTV feature by utilizing them to build a surround-sound approach to campaign storytelling, providing followers with full inside look of Marshall's Four Seasons experience. These videos were all used as a sustainment tactic and to drive audiences to the landing page FourSeasons.com/Envoy to learn more and provide submissions.
The hero video was released on November 1, 2018 and posted on Instagram with copy that included the clear calls-to-action for viewers, with a subsequent behind the scenes video released on November December 11, 2018. Additionally, two sets of three Instagram Stories with swipe-up CTAs to learn more were utilized along with each video to further drive impressions, reach and click-throughs. An IGTV video asset was promoted and shared via Instagram Stories to drive further video views on a longer form video. As a supporting tactic to encourage engagements, captions included a CTA to tag someone who would make a great #FSEnvoy in the comments.
Using paid support, the videos were amplified across social with objectives for engagements, video views and landing page views. Campaign targeting parameters included two audience sets. One audience was made up of individuals most likely to be interested in the program and share the video. This audience included targeting parameters for affinity (i.e., Conde Nast Traveller, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure) and behaviours (i.e., frequent travellers, business travellers). To promote qualified application submissions, another audience set was created targeting parameters to reach people who studied or had a strong affinity for the arts (i.e., photography, art, writing, poetry) and those who enjoyed travel experiences. This was optimized in real-time based on results to reach our target audiences and drive results.
The Four Seasons community management team was briefed on the campaign to provide real-time support and information to all those who inquired via direct message or post comments.
These videos were shared worldwide and all commentors inquiring for more information were acknowledged and encouraged to apply where relevant.
Additionally, all 111 individual property hotels were provided with a campaign toolkit to help them amplify the campaign to their local audiences.
The Envoy by Four Seasons campaign content reached 23,925,960 million prospects across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. There were 383,983 30-second video views and 420,260 likes, comments and shares on the videos. The video drove nearly 78,659 link clicks and ultimately led to over 1,000 applications.
This campaign was a success in building awareness for the brand's dedication to sharing authentic travel stories and working with diverse content creators throughout the globe. The campaign hashtag #FSEnvoy was used 271 times across platforms, garnering around 5.8 million potential impressions.