Into 2019, JW Marriott continued to look for opportunities to differentiate itself as a luxury hospitality brand with immersive experiences for its guests. We realized that the expectations for culinary festivals to deliver, in a world of discerning palettes, has risen throughout the years. And we looked to set ourselves apart in the highly competitive food and beverage industry.
As we entered our second year of Gather, A JW Epicurean & Mindful Experience we looked to create a campaign integrating brand, continent, property, Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty and other Marriott International channels. As well as expand our partnership with American Express and culinary magazine Food & Wine.
We sought to bring together chefs and fans alike to experience and enjoy authentic moments throughout three nights; to set the standard for what an exclusive cuisine festival should look like. The series of wine tastings, interactive classes, and cooking demonstrations highlighted the city’s finest dishes in a destination renowned for traditional Italian cuisine. An exclusive experience for passionate, sophisticated foodies. The success of this culinary event proved that JW Marriott was not only able to attract a wide demographic of foodie fans and culinary experts, but to also establish itself as a premier partner in the gourmet food and beverage industry.
Our main goal was not around revenue but to promote awareness, inspire memories, and deepen engagement with our target consumers. This included furthering our brand story with our partners.
Starting at the end of our inaugural festival in 2018, we started crafting a strategy to further strengthen the perception of the brand in the luxury category, and drive awareness in the global culinary space as a luxury leader. We targeted a culinary audience of international travelers, influencers, critics, chefs and mixologists. JW Marriott hosted the event at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa and teamed up with Food & Wine magazine, American Express, and Marriott Rewards to create an immersive experience that would resonate across social platforms.
Our strategy focused on capturing experiential moments that are grounded in the three brand pillars– Be Mindful & Present, Be Nourished, and Be Together. Capture brand proof points including JW Garden, Secret Spots and Mindful Moments. Capture guests in the moment and fully enjoying the events.
On social our strategy further refined our overall brand goals by pulling through the real-time immersive experiences throughout the festival to a targeted audience.
On Instagram specifically, our social objective was an extension of our overall brand goals to drive luxury perception and deepen engagement measured by impressions to a targeted audience.
Our IG Stories were filmed from the unique perspectives of our influencers. We told our brand story through the eyes of Elizabeth Keene & Laura Yazdi, and Joe & Maddie Greer. Our Stories were a mix of still photography and small video clips. No more than 10 frames were posted each day.
Our Instagram feed focused on single still images posted each day of the event. Highlighting the best photo and experience from that day. The copy either teased the experience or directed the viewer to visit our stories and follow along for more.
JW Marriott sought to capture and retain the attention of our targeted audience by sharing local, Venetian experiences in real time. JW Marriott pulled from Italy’s authentic roots and shared content on Instagram and Instagram Stories highlighting local cooking demonstrations, interactive classes, and wine tastings — all in the company of our social influencers, internationally celebrated chefs, wine experts and mixologists. By working with international sponsors and talent, the festival experience and our branded messaging reached diverse audiences around the globe. Each partner shared their experiences to their social following, helping us strengthen perception of JW as a luxury brand and cultivate new consumers that would be interested in attending the event in 2020.
Overall, we were not only successful in strengthening the JW Marriott brand perception in the luxury category and driving awareness in the global culinary space as a luxury leader, but also in building excitement for the event next year. Our social content across all channels (including videos and stories) far exceeded expectations with over 17 Million impressions (30x above what we achieved in 2018) and over 1 Million engagements (7x above our 2018 event support)
Our Instagram & Instagram Stories far exceeded expectations and continued to be a huge driver of awareness. By the end of the event they had driven 10 Million impressions, as well as generating 17k Video Views (measured as 15 sec Thru-Plays), and even over 5k clicks to site from our story promotions.
Along with the social stats we were also successful in other ways including increasing ticket sales and media placements to the event over the previous year.
JW Marriott is proud to have given back to the Venice community, while sharing the most treasured experiences across the island. Gather, A JW Epicurean & Mindful Experience exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to the 2020 festival, in the company of friends, influencers, international guests, and sponsors.
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