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Standing out in the age of hyper-communication

Vincent Quandalle: General Manager France B&B Hotels Georges Mohammed-Chérif: President & Creative Director, Buzzman

In 2020, at the end of the lockdown, in a gloomy context for advertisers and the absence of communication by hoteliers, B&B benefited from an effective communication campaign at a lower cost, enabling it to gain visibility.

In 2021, the risk was to be drowned in a flood of hyper-communication, with the Euro and the Tour de France adding to the recovery context.

Buzzman was chosen for its boldness, with the aim of standing out and "not passing on the usual message".

The agency worked according to an augmented reality principle: "showing reality makes things more empathetic and interesting". The objective is to stay on the basics, authenticity: "to assume the fact that it is a hotel for visitors, to magnify it, to make it emotional". The goal is to bring emotion back into the practical and functional.

Rather than focusing on the bed and breakfast, key elements in budget hotels, the emphasis was placed on "the place where you can rest and recharge your batteries", particularly after a bad day. All the more so because, according to Georges Mohammed-Chérif, "a bad day is more interesting cinematically".

Another challenge was to convey a strong message while maintaining the group's own spirit of hospitality.

The TV campaign was preceded in May by "La Guérilla", a device consisting of placing signs on sleeping people, mainly in the metro. The message: "better to spend the night at B&B than in the metro, where the risks are great".

It was then complemented by 2 commercials, chosen from the set of scenarios proposed by Buzzman. "What interested us was that there should be a double message: 'Come to B&B', but also a slightly more societal message", adds Vincent Quandalle.

This was not without difficulty: while the message on sexism was validated by the ARPP (Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité), the message on racism was not accepted.

The campaign was a real success. With a budget similar to that of the previous year, drowned in a sea of hyper-communication, the spots were seen and remembered.

In less than a week the results were in, with an increase in bookings of around 15%. This campaign was a way to win back customers for B&B, especially in the leisure market, which is not a traditional core target for the group. The hotels performed very well during the summer of 2021, with results higher than those of 2019: 105% of RevPAR, 106% of turnover.

The brand intends to continue this trend and is already planning to work on new campaigns with Buzzman in 2022, by being perhaps "a little more positive while being a little more irritating" whishes Vincent Quandalle.

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