DoubleTree gets customers to give others a #SweetWelcome

The hotel chain has an ongoing mission to provide people with a warm welcome.

DoubleTree and actress Monique Coleman welcome a newly naturalized U.S. citizen.

Company: DoubleTree
Campaign: Your Warm Cookie Awaits
Agency mix: Ketchum (PR, influencer relations), The Martin Agency (advertising, branding), OMD (media buying), HZDG (social)
Duration: September - October 2017

DoubleTree by Hilton asked fans to show how they are making the world a more welcoming place, but also led by example, recently welcoming new U.S. citizens outside of a naturalization ceremony.

The hotel chain’s campaign, Your Warm Cookie Awaits, is centered on its ongoing mission to provide people with a warm welcome.

Planning for the Your Warm Cookie Awaits campaign began in June 2017. The campaign includes digital billboard placements and will continue into 2018. The goal was to drive awareness and consideration of the DoubleTree brand.

DoubleTree and its PR and advertising partners for the campaign, Ketchum and The Martin Agency, set out to create a series of events to help the brand engage with consumers in several key markets. The brand also wanted to hold a #SweetWelcome tour with three stops: Washington, DC, Boston, and Malibu.

Additionally, DoubleTree wanted to partner with an influencer who could participate in a stop on the tour.

A large component of the campaign was engaging fans on the brand's owned social channels to participate in a contest.

"We asked people to share ways in which they are making the world a more welcoming place, from giving out a warm DoubleTree cookie or volunteering with a local charity to simply sharing a smile with a stranger," explained Stuart Foster, VP of global brand marketing at DoubleTree by Hilton.

The hashtag #SweetWelcome was developed to encourage social engagement.

On September 14, DoubleTree issued a national press release that announced the launch of the #SweetWelcome tour, as well as the beginning of the social contest.

That same day, the brand was on hand to welcome new U.S. citizens outside of a naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston. DoubleTree used footage captured at the event to create a video that was posted on the brand's YouTube channel several weeks later.

As part of the Boston event, DoubleTree partnered with celebrity Monique Coleman, known for her role at Taylor McKenzie in Disney's High School Musical movies and from ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Coleman, who boasts more than 840,000 followers across Twitter and Instagram, was on-site to help interact with new citizens and pass out cookies. She also shared campaign content on her own social accounts and discussed the activation in interviews with WRKO and Kiss 108 in Boston.

The social contest also kicked off on September 14 and ran through October 18. Fans were encouraged to submit photos or videos of themselves or people they know who are making the world a more welcoming place. People could enter the contest by posting on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #SweetWelcome and #Contest.

The grand prize winner of the contest receives a weeklong stay at any DoubleTree by Hilton hotel around the world, four winners receive two complimentary hotel nights, and 50 runners up get a package of DoubleTree cookies.

On September 23, DoubleTree held an event at the Veterans Support Network's 14th Annual Military Culinary Competition in Washington, DC. Along with the Hilton Military Programs team, DoubleTree helped educate attendees about a Hilton military hiring initiative and distribute cookies.

Another activation took place on October 15 in Malibu at a charity bike ride called Phil's Cookie Fondo.

"The brand worked in partnership with event organizers to infuse its spirit of hospitality, and signature DoubleTree Cookies, within the pre-race expo, race experience, and post-race celebration," said Foster.

DoubleTree is looking at possibly extending the event series into next year.

Social posts about the #SweetWelcome events resulted in about 44,000 Instagram Stories views and 5,428 total engagements, measured via click-throughs, likes, and shares. DoubleTree's social audiences also increased throughout the campaign, with the brand adding nearly 7,500 new followers across all channels.

For the Boston event, Coleman shared posts on Instagram that received nearly 21,000 engagements. An estimated 5,000 warm cookies were given out at that event alone.

The #SweetWelcome social contest generated 1,115 total entries and more than 6,500 engagements with fans.

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