Caption by Hyatt is the first original Hyatt brand to launch in decades, but more importantly, it’s our first brand launch in the digital era and in a new, Covid-conscious world. We knew this was a rare opportunity that seldom comes along in one’s career.
To make sure our launch was rooted in strategy and data, we partnered with creative agency Rosewood to analyze Caption by Hyatt’s competitors and discover how we could set ourselves apart. From there, we developed an innovative social strategy that would see us through the pre-launch, launch, and sustainment stages.
Caption by Hyatt is not some basic hotel. It’s a place where people are encouraged to authentically be themselves, whether that means using your phone as your room key, adding gin to your morning kombucha, or making a new friend over a midnight espresso. It may be a hotel, but the people make the place. At the heart of Caption by Hyatt is Talk Shop, an all-day hangout that is equal parts restaurant, bar, communal workspace, and a place to make new connections.
Based on our findings our two main objectives became:
Approach the launch with a social-first mindset. We saw space to lean in on the vertical video trend and create a campaign that would eventually lead to the ideation of Hyatt’s first-ever TikTok channel.
Let the people of Memphis tell their stories and be the voice of the campaign.
In the pre-launch stage, it became clear our biggest challenge was figuring out how we would create engaging assets to promote a hotel that was not yet open. To solve this, we reviewed our competitive analysis to find the “why?” What was it about Caption by Hyatt that would drive someone to want to visit?
And then it hit us.
Against our competitors, the biggest differentiator is that Caption by Hyatt is made for travelers, not tourists. It’s a place for the people, or in our words, “Yours for the making.” It’s about celebrating what the local community has to offer. We wanted to show that we are here for the making of experiences and connections, and our aim became to build a social community with content that was focused on conversation and culture.
Content that gets people talking and sharing their own stories in a natural and fun way.
Fueled by pop culture, intriguing prompts, guests, influencers, and locals.
Content that shows the culture of the brand through the people and events who make it.
Inspired by employee input, guests, and the Caption by Hyatt community.
With that in mind, making Talk Shop the center of the story made the most sense. For months, we brainstormed and strategized how we could bring the space to life outside of the hotel, eventually leading to the development of Talk Shop Encounters.
So, before Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis opened its doors, we took Talk Shop on the road in our very own Caption by Hyatt branded food truck. This day of traveling across the city included giving locals the first taste of the menu — under one condition. Instead of paying for the food with money, they paid for it by sharing personal stories about their lives as Memphians. To add to the excitement of the launch, these conversations were led by Meghan Triplett, a journalist that was a digital correspondent and host for the Memphis Grizzlies at the time and has since moved on to be a Sideline Reporter for the YES Network.
We filmed videos and took photos of the encounters from morning to evening, stopping at popular points throughout Memphis. As word began to spread about our traveling Talk Shop, we met more and more Memphians at each location. In the end, we collected enough footage to create two promotional videos that were published on YouTube and 11 solid Talk Shop Encounters to help drive the launch of the Caption by Hyatt TikTok channel and overall social media launch.
By the end of the launch period, which was from July 2022 to September 2022, our efforts proved to be a success. We achieved astounding social media metrics across Caption by Hyatt’s TikTok and Instagram channels, including:
14.6M video views
6.9% CTR (4x the industry average)
We also launched our paid TikTok strategy with two simultaneous campaigns — one optimized toward followers and the other optimized towards video views. These campaigns proved to be successful, with the account amassing 26.4K followers, 46.2K likes, 5M video views, and 11.8K profile visits by the end of the launch period.
By the end of 2022, the account had amassed 38.3K followers. Today, as we continue to experience growth, that number stands at 41.5K followers. This is particularly impressive due to the fact that a new brand in a small market has amassed half as many followers as other large hotel companies that have been on TikTok for a longer period of time.
We ultimately consider our efforts to be a success because of the high amount of awareness and engagement that the launch campaign brought to Hyatt’s newest brand.
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