St Giles Embraces Emerging Technology with its 360 VR Campaign
Updated: Aug 22, 2018
“Adventure is worthwhile,” Aristotle. And it’s no secret that some of life’s greatest adventures come with all we experience through travel. Take a minute to imagine the immense natural beauty of exotic locales such as Manila, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. Think of the sensory experiences that come with boating in the Parramatta River toward Sydney’s iconic harbor, or by strolling through the bustling Chowrasta Bazaar in Penang.
With nine properties strategically located in the center of 6 other major cities, St Giles Hotels offers its guests opportunities to experience “worthwhile adventures”, right outside it's doors.
In an attempt to lure prospective travelers, St Giles took a creative leap beyond other brands and leveraged emerging technology to offer the most authentic possible sneak peeks into the adventures that await…. through cyberspace!
With Piranha’s help, St Giles Hotels launched a first-of-its-kind 360° film campaign that brings viewers into the midst of the action by incorporating footage generated by their own guests. This innovative approach gave St Giles a unique opportunity to personify its “Be Central” slogan.
Abigail Tan, head of U.K., Europe, and North America for St Giles Hotels, said, “One of our aims was to create something that our guests and viewers could have a little fun with, something interactive, engaging and cool that anyone could watch a few times over to capture the 360 experience,” in an article for Canada’s “The Star” in 2017.
“Our guests inspire us every day, and this campaign enables us to connect with them, as well as for them to connect with each other,” she added.
To put the idea into motion, St Giles launched a casting call among the guests planning summer travel to one of their nine properties. Those chosen were offered a free night’s stay and a Samsung Gear 360 Camera to document what “Be Central” meant to them as they explored the city to which they traveled. Piranha also sent their own content team to capture experiences from each city, then crafted “best of” video edits as well as personalized edits for each of the guests. The work resulted in the creation of short 360° films that highlight the adventures in each city through the lens of real travelers, St Giles own guests!
The next step was to create a platform for viewers across the globe to become more fully-immersed in these experiences. St Giles partnered with VR pro Omnivirt, who publishes 360° media across iOS, Android and the Web, and released stgiles360.com and the St Giles Hotel mobile app. Videos were also published on YouTube and Facebook, who have also embraced 360° VR with their ability to view 360° videos natively. Exposure then amplified as videos created for the campaign were pushed through social media, garnering “likes” and “shares” as they spread to adventure-seekers who were just hearing about the St Giles brand for the first time.
And what a brilliant campaign it was for St Giles! With 8 million views on social channels and reach over 250 million from PR, plus write ups in Skift, Adweek, and Digital Trends, the campaign allowed for the brand to run with an emerging technology to gain attention. As well, the content created offered extended use as unique city guides as sales tools as well as engagement tools for St Giles events.