Shortlisted 2020

Brand & Media Owner Partnership



Entered by:

Spark Foundry


VICE,M1M Team (Spark Foundry, Publicis Media Content, Digitas)

Discover This Way

The Challenge

In 2019, Renaissance launched its on property Navigator program; an elevated concierge service helping guests discover local haunts and hidden gems in the city they are visiting. Whilst this was successful amongst hotel guests, awareness of this program outside of existing guests was low and so was Renaissance’s positioning as a lifestyle hotel brand, enabling guest’s spontaneous discovery of destinations.

Therefore, Renaissance launched the ‘Discovery This Way’ advertising campaign, which aimed to inspire spontaneous explorers (aka millennial business travelers) to travel like a local and show them that Renaissance hotels enable every trip to be a tale to talk about.

However, whilst this campaign was a great awareness building piece, there was still job to be done in the brand positioning of Renaissance.

Thus our challenge was to inspire spontaneous explorers with a content partnership that enabled them to travel like a local, and position Renaissance as a lifestyle destination for spontaneous discovery. Helping guests to explore credible, local recommendations that make for charming and surprising experiences ; thus making Renaissance Hotels synonymous with unparalleled, on the ground knowledge in destination cities.

From a brand level, the partnership needed to deliver audience affinity across the key European markets (France, UK and Germany), whist offering stand out media formats and contextual alignment with the wider Renaissance ‘Discover This Way’ comms campaign.

From a primary content & media KPI perspective, we were focused on content and video views, followed by secondary KPls of reach.

The Creative Solution

To meet this challenge head on, we needed a credible source through which we could tell Renaissance stories and at the same time get the stamp of approval that Renaissance is indeed a lifestyle hotel destination worth the visit.

We evaluated multiple partners that could do just this. Our evaluation was based on their reach across Renaissance’ key markets, their lifestyle and ‘coolness’ credentials, and a strong affinity with Renaissance’ audience as well as other criteria such as editorial , distribution eco-system and ROI potential . The strongest contender to tell the Renaissance story was clearly VICE.

Our research identified, that millennial business travelers often wish to extend their business travel into leisure. However, with such a short time to spend , they often don’t know what there is to do. We needed to offer the audience a quick solution, to foster a sense of discovery, so they know what to do on their business trip if they had a few hours free time.

We worked closely with VICE, across 3 markets, to come up with an immersive interactive digital partnership called Navigator .

Spanning over 80 pieces of content including articles and videos, VICE created a travel guide for 6 different European cities. But this wasn’t just any travel guide, by including a never before seen smart content management system, we offered time-poor ‘Spontaneous Explorers’ a customised itinerary to get the most out of their stay. Whether looking to sample the best coffee in town, discover rare books in a cozy store, or sip on cocktails in an underground basement bar, the Navigator platform provided a hub of locally nuanced recommendations for our time-poor travelers to have the most authentic experience whether travelling for business or with friends.

This smart selection allowed for a customised travel guide including the best restaurants, bars and cafes as well as Renaissance hotels in the chosen city recommended by local VICE travel experts and also Renaissance’ own navigators.

Navigator was a first-of-its-kind content program that saw Renaissance tap into VICE’s on the ground knowledge in destination cities cross Europe to uncover hidden local experiences.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

VICE has a large, targetable travel and luxury travel audience across both owned digital channels and social platforms. Leveraging a proven distribution strategy to activate the partnership, alongside audience data to build targetable segments, the Navigator partnership was able to successfully tailor the messaging in each country to each audience, ensuring maximum exposure and reach within in each market.

Through a series of localised social videos, the Navigator partnership was promoted across VICE’s owned and operated and social channels, to a pre-defined audience travel segment of ‘Spontaneous Explorers’. A series of high-impact hero units also ran across desktop and mobile, with high performing adhesion units and VICE Video Everywhere formats directing users through to the Navigator microsite.

The Result

The Navigator partnership saw incredibly strong performance across all campaign KPls, with 89M+ impressions (over-delivery of 225%) and 13.2M+ Video Views (165% over target) which also received a high viewability up to 10% over our target in every market.

The campaign also drove 681K+ clicks (220% of target) and 347K+ views to the campaign microsite. There was a strong CTR of 0.76% overall which outperformed the publishers own 0.41% benchmark.

Germany saw the highest CTR and VTR overall, with its CTR of 0.82% being double that of the benchmark . The reason for over delivery was down to the strong creative and natural integration of the branded content seamlessly aligning with the VICE editorial style and reaching the target audience who actively wanted to engage further with the partnership content.

We have a brand study currently running but the results are not yet ready in time for the award submission deadline.

*’The Navigator campaign enabled us to truly position our selves as a lifestyle hotel brand that is the destination of discovery. The partnership created content that was not only innovative and exciting but was also a useful, real life tool for that provided us with true relevance and longevity.*’ – Joanne Clifton, Performance Marketing Manager, Marriott

France, Germany and UK.