The Setup: Everyone’s experienced it: The hotel you’re staying in has a standard 11 a.m. checkout time and you have to vacate your room even though you’re not ready to go. But what if no one is booked to check into a departing guest’s room? Why would the current guest have to leave? Wouldn’t it be great if you could stay? Those questions were the inspiration behind Melbourne agency Naked Communication‘s wildly successful “Overstay Checkout” campaign for Art Series Hotel Group, which operates a chain of boutique hotels across Australia.
The How: The campaign aimed to increase bookings during the summer months among the chain’s leisure travelers rather than its business travelers, who often have less flexibility with their schedules. Here’s how it worked: Rather than have to check out as scheduled, a guest could call reception and request an “overstay extension.” If their room wasn’t yet booked to another guest, the original occupant could stay for free until the next guest arrived—whether that would mean another few hours, until that evening, an extra gratis night, or, in theory, indefinitely.
The Channel: Naked used a potent multichannel combination of email, display, microsites, widgets, point-of-purchase, PR, social media, radio, word of mouth, and video to get the word out.
The Results: With a budget of just $80,000, Naked helped Art Series Hotels increase occupancy by 55% above the original target and boost positive online reviews by 400%, which translated to a 359% ROI and an extra 1,550 room nights sold. Though it didn’t cost the brand anything to offer overstay, it was able to rake in an additional $37,000 from overstaying guests who spent on room service charges and the use of other hotel facilities. Naked won the prestigious Warc Prize for Innovation for its work on the campaign.