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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Hotel Indigo - The Color of Discovery

Finalist in Hospitality

About this entry

Hotel Indigo, the industry's first branded boutique hotel, launched the Color of Discovery campaign to grow awareness, consideration and favorability with the goal of driving occupancy. Our social and content activations would support these goals by casting Hotel Indigo as the ultimate curator of local discoveries.

Our mantra? From the crossing of great oceans to the exploration of night skies, those with a yearning to discover and rediscover are drawn to the color indigo – the color of discovery.

Our idea? Show our target guests how each Hotel Indigo uniquely curates authentic local experiences, both inside and outside of our hotels.

Our toolkit? Six social platforms, 15 videos, five canvas ads, two content partners and a bevy of carefully selected influencers would drive to a newly created Color of Discovery hub offering hand-picked neighborhood recommendations, curated maps and a UGC experience curated from Instagram.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Neighborhood guides on the Color of Discovery hub led our content and social strategy, with platform-specific stories — such as 15- and 30-second videos showcasing local discoveries at key properties — driving awareness on our social channels, including, for the first time, Snapchat and Pinterest.

To resonate with our target guests, we positioned Hotel Indigo as the curator of local discoveries in all content on all platforms, and laddered all content to our targets' interest pillars: food and drink, art, design and music.

To reach our target audience, we planned amplification around tent-pole moments that also laddered to their interests, with our music-inspired Facebook creative (think honky tonks in Nashville and rock venues on NYC's Lower East Side) reaching music-loving travelers around key music events. We also tapped influencers in the music and design spaces to create social and hub content — and in one case, star in our video — as well as teamed up with Refinery29 to create social, video and email content that performed over benchmark with their like-minded audience.

An experiential partnership with Uber resulted in a three-date Uber Summer Concert Series at Hotel Indigo New York Lower East Side. The rich UGC and opportunities for real-time social engagement, alongside PR buzz, helped boost our Color of Discovery messaging among our core audience.

Beyond our brand marketing plan, we empowered each of our hotels to show how they inspire discovery with a Color of Discovery social playbook – furthering our efforts via the social reach of our 40+ hotels in the Americas. We also launched a "social local" initiative whereby each hotel could access and adjust brand-created content for their own channels.


The Color of Discovery campaign lifted both aided awareness and open-to-consider measurements by more than 50% over 2015, as well as lifted hospitality-industry metrics including ADR. Our social initiatives increased ad recall and consideration intent, particularly among core audiences (e.g., the 25-34 age group). Our Facebook canvas ads saw more than 25 million impressions and up to 15.82% engagement rates.

Our influencer program resulted in 59 total posts, totaling 54,950 engagements and nearly 3 million potential impressions across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

Our summer concert series generated more than 129 million impressions in social and press for the three events, including via our social influencers. In InterContinental Hotels Group's first Snapchat activation, we saw 120,000 views and 500 uses around the concert series, with minimal spend.

We consistently saw our message resonate with the right consumers, and our content-led approach resulted not only in strong social performance, but also in significant branded and interest-based organic search growth. Leveraging partnerships — both content and experiential — helped us punch above our weight throughout the campaign.


Video for Hotel Indigo - The Color of Discovery

Entrant Company / Organization Name

InterContinental Hotels Group


Entry Credits