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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

W Hotels x Cercle

Entered in Brand Awareness Campaign, Brand Partnership, Event & Experiential, Global Campaign, Live Event Coverage, Paid & Amplification


W Hotels’ authentic passion for music has always set us apart from other brands in the luxury travel space. In 2021, we began a partnership with Cercle, the groundbreaking French media company, to live stream music from one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations– Gaathafushi Island at W Maldives.

In 2022, with travel booming back and music lovers hungry for live shows and experiences, we deepened our partnership with four activations around the globe, from W Goa to W Amman, W Rome to W Montreal. 

While these activations were experiential, we knew we needed to amplify this campaign so it would reach our global audience of music and travel lovers. By utilizing a paid media spend with Meta, we could target an audience primed for this partnership, increase the reach of our content from this campaign, and measure the impact this campaign had on our brand awareness and consideration.

Strategy and Execution

As this campaign was both experiential and digital, it necessitated the use of digital tactics and paid social media to fuel engagement and reach. 

There were three key components to our paid media content strategy:

  1. Create amazing content that highlights travel and music and amplify with paid media dollars throughout the year
  2. Work with popular influencers across TikTok and Instagram to participate in content for W Hotels’ global channels
  3. Amplify content created from all four concerts throughout the year and recap the entire partnership in a paid media campaign on Meta

For our targeting strategy, we created an audience of frequent luxury travelers and concert-goers interested in EDM and house music.    

For each concert, there were three phases of promotion. The first phase was pre-promotion to drive ticket sales. We created video-first content highlighting the partnership with Cercle and revealing the location and artist for the show. 

The second phase was promotion during the event. For content on our owned social media profiles, we built two teams of content creators: the first focused on hi-fi videography and photography to share post-event and the second focused on iPhone-first content that could be posted in real-time on social media. For the content posted during the activations, we immediately amplified it with paid media to reach a targeted audience of luxury travelers in real time as well.

The third phase was post-event promotion to recap the experience and drive excitement for the next activation. We created POV-style Reels content with our influencers to give an inside look at the entire activation and provide a personality-driven take on the holistic travel experience.

Finally, after all four activations were completed, we ran a tentpole paid social campaign on Meta, utilizing all the content created throughout the year and driving to a recap of the entire partnership on our editorial website, The Angle. We targeted an audience of frequent luxury travelers and concert-goers interested in EDM and house music who would be engaged by this campaign and have an affinity for our brand.


This campaign succeeded at raising both awareness and affinity for W, resulting in a 1.9% increase in awareness and a 2.5% increase in consideration.

Our paid media campaign utilized content created throughout the partnership, targeting an audience of frequent luxury travelers and concert-goers with an interest in EDM and house music. The content, including video, photography, and real-time IG stories and Reels, amassed 27.2M impressions, 4.7M engagements, and a 25.6% engagement rate– a 19% increase in engagement compared to our brand average. 

Working closely with the Cercle team and our hotels, over 4,000 people attended our concerts and over 2,000 attended our afterparties, generating more than 6,100 social media posts and 328.5 million OTS (potential earned reach). Cercle’s live streams were viewed more than 11.5 million times across YouTube and Facebook, multiplying the reach of the live experiences by 1,380x. Leveraging TikTok and Instagram influencers such as Noah Beck and Tefi Pessoa as well as attendees of our sold-out concerts, we maximized earned reach, garnering 305 unique posts and 125.6M earned OTS (potential reach). 

With this campaign, we were able to connect with music lovers and travelers in unprecedented ways, marrying digital and IRL strategies for maximum reach and engagement.


Video for W Hotels x Cercle

Entrant Company / Organization Name

W Hotels


Entry Credits