Product / ServiceART SERIES HOTEL
CategoryC04. Travel, Leisure & Retail (including e-commerce & restaurants)
Entrant Company CUMMINS & PARTNERS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Advertising Agency CUMMINS & PARTNERS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Sean Cummins Cummins & Partners Global CEO
Chris Jeffares Cummins & Partners CEO
Jim Ingram Cummins & Partners Executive Creative Director
Ben Couzens Cummins & Partners Executive Creative Director
Adam Ferrier Cummins & Partners Chief Strategy Officer
Jess Thompson Cummins & Partners Agency Executive Producer
Liam Jenkins Cummins & Partners Copywriter
Heath Collins Cummins & Partners Art Director
Nigel Camilleri Cummins & Partners Agency Producer
Magdalina Triantafyllidis Cummins & Partners Account Director
Nikia Shepherd Cummins & Partners Account Manager
Graeme Phillips Cummins/Partners Dop Melbourne)

Brief Explanation

In the crowded Australian hotel market, the Art Series Hotel Group wanted to keep their brand top of mind. So to keep people talking about them, we created a promotion that controversially took on the toughest critics: the critics. From bad-mouthing restaurants to ranking the foam art on your latte, everyone today has an opinion. The internet provides an open forum for complaints – many directed toward hotels. But what about hotel’s complaints? Statistics, provided by Galaxy Research, confirmed that five million Australians admit to bad behaviour in hotels. So we decided to turn the tables and give the amateur critics a taste of their own medicine. We introduced Reverse Reviews, making Art Series the first hotel chain to review its guests. How? Our promotion offered guests a chance to opt in and win a free night if they scored a perfect review, provided they let us share their story.

The Brief

Reverse Reviews’ primary goal was to further enhance the Art Series Hotel Group’s reputation as innovators in the boutique hotel industry. At a pure business level, we wanted to: 1. Achieve a 20% increase in web bookings. 2. Achieve a 15% increase in website traffic. 3. Our most ambitious goal, to be evaluated by independent research, was to change the behaviour of hotel guests in a positive way. To complete these three tasks we decided to create a promotion that would generate talk and create action.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

As a promotional campaign, Reverse Reviews was an overwhelming success. People engaged with the message – Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi wanted to adopt our idea – and sales spiked. Direct booking revenue rose by 24% as a result of an incredible 188% increase in organic direct bookings online. Website visitation went up by 45%, with the time spent on site up by 9.98% and bounce rates down by the same percentage. Facebook visits rose 100%, post reach by 101%. Most impressively we actually succeeded in changing customer behaviour. Reports of bad behaviour in all our hotels dropped by 25% and theft was reduced, saving the Art Series Group over $5000. So what did we learn? It pays to behave at the Art Series Hotels.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

We created Reverse Reviews by allowing any guest that stayed with the Art Series Hotel Group to opt in and have their performance as a guest reviewed by the hotel. When guests came to stay everything was seemingly normal. What we didn’t tell them was that we had an undercover reviewer staying in our hotels. For six weeks they observed and judged the guest’s every move, awarding the best and punishing the worst. If guests received a perfect score (five stars) they won a free night. If they didn’t they got nothing, except the potential for public shaming, as every review, good or bad, was posted on the Art Series website and Facebook page. The promo became the talking point. The reviews themselves became the collateral, meaning the once feared review was working for us, not against us.