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July 2015

Loyalty Program Promotion

The Goal

For many people, summer is about vacations and free time; in the hospitality industry, summer is all about attracting the lucrative family leisure traveler. Best Western International – with more than 4,000 locations in 100 countries – wanted to find a way to make its loyalty program stand out in the crowded marketing din by appealing especially to families. In addition, the hotel chain hoped to sign up more people in the 25 million-member-strong Best Western Rewards and increase participation in its summer “stay three nights, get a free night” offer. 

The Initiative

Think families, think Disney? Best Western tapped into the power of Disney and digital media – not to mention the thrill of a sweepstakes event – to charge its 2014 summer promotion. In partnership with Disney Media, “Get Zapped With Zendaya Zweepstakes” tapped into the kid- and teen-friendly appeal of musician and actress Zendaya, with a grand prize of a trip to Los Angeles to meet the star of the Disney Channel movie “Zapped.” The summer promotion also gave travelers a chance to win Best Western gift cards to use on their travels. 

Recognizing the growing power of digital tools, especially among teens and children, the Get Zapped promotion used a variety of techniques, including augmented-reality “standees” in the lobby of every Best Western property. After downloading the Best Western Alive! app on an iPhone or Android, hotel guests were able to aim the phone’s camera at the standee display to launch a life-size, virtual reality Zendaya with whom to pose. They were then encouraged to share the photos on social media.

After the virtual interaction, hotel guests could register for the sweepstakes, become a member of Best Western Rewards and register for the free night offer. In addition to the virtual reality and social media aspects of the summer campaign, Get Zapped also leveraged the traditional mediums of radio and television, as well as digital banner advertising, email, targeted direct response offers and dedicated web landing pages. 

The Results

The Get Zapped With Zendaya Zweepstakes fulfilled all of the goals Best Western set for it, creating high guest engagement and a strong boost to both the loyalty program and the free-night promotion. Almost a million people participated in the sweepstakes, and the “stay three nights, get a free night” offer generated the highest number of promotion registrants in the history of Best Western Rewards. In addition, the number of active members in the loyalty program increased by 48.5% during the summer 2014 promotion. The digital banners used for the promotion had a high click-through rate of 4.75%.

Perhaps best of all for Best Western, its front desk associates enrolled more than 600,000 members in its loyalty program during the promotion period.