The legendary Taj Connemara, Chennai reopened on October 20, 2018 post extensive renovations. A 360-degree approach was taken addressing hotel experiences, communication and go-to-market strategies.
The opportunity: Taj’s iconic heritage hotel in Chennai, Taj Connemara had undergone a two-year-long extensive restoration and redesign. The objective was to relaunch Chennai’s iconic landmark on a grand scale, true to its legendary status.
The context: Dating back to the 19th century, the hotel's illustrious history was brought to life with a fresh and modern twist. The newly renovated Taj Connemara, Chennai drew on the hotel's illustrious past whilst offering patrons a distinctive experience. Recreating the rich history of this Heritage hotel in the heart of Chennai - a fusion of traditional detail and with a classic contemporary style. To create an inviting imagination of time at TAJ Connemara for both business and high-end leisure travellers. Smart and elegant, the newly renovated Connemara hotel will be a destination luxury hotel in the heart of the city.
The approach: The hotel reopened on October 20, 2018. A 360-degree approach was taken addressing hotel experiences, communication and go-to-market strategies. The campaign for the relaunch had a central theme of “A Madras Affair” which rekindled the association our patrons had with the city of Madras, renamed Chennai, and the fact that the hotel stood as a symbol of the city of Madras - a testament to the changing times, a lineage intertwined with the history of the city. While this was concentrated at a national level there was also a global outreach.
Innovative aspects: A week prior to the relaunch event, the Hotel façade was lit up and an LED ticker showcased messages centred around the history and legacy of the hotel to create curiosity and anticipation. A Heritage interactive wall was showcased inside the Hotel premises detailing the journey of the Connemara, synonymous with the journey of then Madras and now Chennai.
To celebrate this momentous occasion a grand event was hosted. The event was an eclectic mix of tradition and technology. The evening unfolded with a grand welcome by the Chennai Police Band. This was followed by an elegant colonial-inspired fashion show inspired by the renowned fashion designer, Gaurang Shah. This was followed by a grand storytelling of the history of the Connemara, on the façade of the hotel using 3D-Projection. The climax of the event was when a 3D model of the Taj Connemara rose from the swimming pool to mark the unveiling ceremony. The entire event was Live broadcasted at 20 IHCL hotels across the country to build customer and employee engagement.
Major assets: The launch invites for the event were printed as scrolls as a throwback to the earlier times of the Connemara. A full set of collaterals & giveaways were developed keeping in mind the theme of the early 1900s era. This was backed by a robust media plan involving both print & digital media to build awareness and reach. We also used Customers testimonials regarding the legacy of Taj Connemara, its association with the city to build engagement and ramp up interest as a part of the pre-launch plan.
Integrated resources: South India's oldest hotel had to be reopened on a grand scale. A collaborative and synergized approach ensured the successful execution of this aspiration. A cross-functional team comprising of Marketing, Sales, PR, Operations, mentored by a member of the senior leadership team collaborated to make this a highly successful relaunch. IHCL’s corporate marketing department worked on the conceptualization, communication and implementation strategy for the relaunch and the event itself. The corporate PR team ensured that the communication reached a wider audience using the most effective media platforms. Along with the PR team our robust sales network was pivotal in inviting the right audience for the relaunch event. Taj Connemara’s hotel operations team consisting of F&B, IT, housekeeping, banquets and various other departments implemented the redesigned service philosophy and led the on-ground execution of the launch event. External partners were brought on board for the implementation of the event consisting of set up, technical support, production of assets etc.
Management & Monitoring: The cross-functional team reviewed every element on a weekly basis to ensure timely execution and course correction if need be. The same was also monitored at the Executive Committee level on a fortnightly basis.
Impact: The entire relaunch campaign was extremely well received and translated into an 80% increase in Hotel ADRs and firmly repositioned the hotel in the luxury category. We created a huge buzz in both traditional and new-age media platforms with social media impressions of 1.3 million and over 1100 mentions with 100% positive sentiment.
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