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How Marriott and Qumin challenged China’s Gen Z to expand their horizons

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By Awards Analyst, writer

December 9, 2022 | 6 min read

Qumin and Marriot International took home the Chair Award, Most Effective Use of Branded Content & Travel/Leisure/Tourism/Sports at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC and the Travel, Leisure or Sports accolade at The Drum Awards for Content 2022. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful project.

Moxy image

The campaign sought to inspire China's Generation Z / Qumin

China’s Generation Z is the country's first generation that has seen itself as a leading light of the global community. That opens up an entirely new potential consumer base for hotel and hospitality companies looking to grow their brand in new markets. But reaching those potential consumers required a clever approach.

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The brief

Qumin was tasked with growing awareness of Marriott’s younger-skewing sister brand Moxy among China’s Generation Z. As a new Moxy hotel launched in Shanghai, the challenge was both to raise awareness of and footfall to the hotel, effectively marketing Marriott’s global brand to a younger Chinese audience.

The idea

As with any solid marketing campaign, the first step was deciding upon a channel. In this case, Qumin took the Moxy brand on a tour of Douyin (Chinese TikTok) through partnerships with nine creatives.

The idea was that, just as China has taken a leading role in shaping the global future, those creatives could shape the look of the new hotel. To that end, Qumin sent nine concrete ’mystery blocks’ to each artist, with the instruction to contribute an art piece to the ’blank canvas hotel’ in whatever way they saw fit. It guaranteed original artwork, an audience on social media and a completely distinct look for the hotel itself.

The creative strategy was based on communicating that Moxy hotels are ’ where Brave starts’. It sought to communicate an alternative to tradition to a generation that is beginning to buck the established trend of ’settling’ in accordance with tradition. By tying the creativity of artists who have taken that mantra to heart with the physical hotel space, the campaign sought to inspire consumers to break out and explore using the Moxy hotel as a base.

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The results

All told, over 7,000 videos were submitted using the relative hashtag, generating 450m views – which the Qumin team believes is evidence that the campaign reached a ’brave and marginalized’ audience.

From a purely brand growth point of view, the campaign also reached 443,000 visits to the Moxy Douyin page, suggesting that the page was becoming a destination in and of itself.

Most importantly from the client's perspective, the hotel occupancy rose 500% in the weeks following the campaign. It speaks to the ability of a well-planned social campaign to drive demand among audiences. More specifically the #MakeMoxyYours campaign, also suggests that younger audiences are happy to share inspiration even when it is linked to a brand.

This project also won the ’Best Travel & Leisure Campaign’ at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising 2022. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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