At Renaissance Hotels, it's business unusual. We're on a mission to defy the conventions of business travel for those who crave unexpected experiences. We host live evening events in our hotels worldwide to help guests discover emerging talent in music, food, drink, and the arts. To show our support for the music community and promote awareness of our brand, we invited bands & musical artists from all over the country—business travelers in their own right—to get a night's free accommodation in exchange for an unusual performance at an unexpected location in one of our Renaissance Hotels. The band with the most-viewed original music video would win the grand prize of a $10,000 Marriott Gift Card, exposure in Billboard Magazine, and a chance to perform at one of our upcoming events.
We partnered with Bandsintown to help us source, work with & place artists at participating Renaissance Hotel properties. Bandsintown is the #1 concert discovery app in the United States and used by two-thirds of all touring artists to identify and promote their concerts. Out of more than 150 submissions, we selected 12 finalists to perform in participating Renaissance Hotel properties, each producing a video. The contest was hosted on YouTube to build on the video viewing mindset of the platform's audience. During the contest's launch and voting period, Renaissance's social audience was deep linked to the submitted videos and prompted with multiple reminders to vote for their favorite submissions via promoted placements on Twitter. Program partners also used social media to spread the word, amplifying reach. The music video with the most qualified views on YouTube during the two-week voting period would be named the grand prize winner.
The 12 Play To Stay videos garnered double the average views of all other Renaissance Hotels videos in 2015 and eclipsed our average video view duration with nearly 200,000 minutes of watch time in the November voting period. Play To Stay was very successful in driving qualified organic views: fans were so interested in the artist and content, they watched on average more than half of each video. The contest contributed to a 13.6% lift month over month in organic brand mentions and an increase in clicks to the RenHotels.com contest landing page. Twitter also served as a great awareness driver, as the #playtostay hashtag was used nearly 2,000 times during the contest period.