The world’s first guest-powered hotel

Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers opened in November 2009 and is the InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG’s) greenest hotel, boasting impressive sustainability credentials. However, it wasn’t achieving the recognition it deserved. Hill & Knowlton was briefed to put the hotel on the map and stimulate bookings.

Objectives

The aims of the campaign were to raise awareness of the hotel’s sustainability credentials; communicate with guests about sustainability and encourage them to help; and to encourage bookings.

Strategy

The strategy was to bring the sustainability message directly to the hotel guests. The idea was a ‘guest-powered hotel’, enabling guests to not only stay in a sustainable hotel, but also engage in an activity that demonstrates their personal impact on the environment.

This idea had never been done before, so an electrical engineer in Denmark was involved to generate electricity for the hotel via an exercise bike. A guest cycling at an average speed for 60 minutes produces approximately 100 watt hours of electricity, powering one of the hotel’s light bulbs for an hour.

To launch the initiative, a local Danish photographer snapped local models using exercise bikes outside the hotel. There was no wastage in terms of costs – the electric bike technology used for the photo shoot has been retained for use in the hotel’s gym.

Media relations were managed from the agency’s London office, issuing photography and a press release to a broad range of print and broadcast media, and online sources.

Measurement

The campaign generated 426 items of coverage worldwide – 255 items of coverage in the UK – with 80.2 million opportunities to see worldwide.

According to independent analysis by Metrica, 100 per cent of coverage was favourable, 100 per cent of coverage mentioned the electric bikes, 82 per cent of coverage mentioned that guests could help power the hotel, and 35 per cent of coverage mentioned the hotel’s broader sustainable credentials.

The campaign resulted in an equivalent advertising value of £1,500,000 worldwide which equates to a return on investment of 60:1.

According to MAP Analysis Platform, there were 342 blog mentions and over 300 Tweets with 72,362 impressions. The online conversation was extremely rich, detailing the hotel’s sustainability credentials and the energy generation scheme.

Results

· The activity raised awareness of the hotel’s sustainability credentials worldwide, both in terms of media coverage and online conversation.

· Since launch, the bikes have been used by over 1,000 guests, showing how a global hotel company like IHG has the opportunity to communicate with consumers and positively impact behavioural change.

· In the two days following the launch, daily bookings to the hotel doubled. The hotel recorded a 27 per cent uplift in bookings between April and May 2010.

Timing

March to April 2010

Budget

£10,000 - £25,000

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