— How to make the locals fall in love with your hotel
Lillstrøm is a small city in Norway, conveniently placed between the capital city of Oslo and the airport. A place you normally wouldn’t go to unless there was a conference or you were visiting friends or family.
So when Scandic was opening a new hotel in Lillstrøm, we really needed the local people and businesses to recommend it to others, and also start using the facilities themselves – especially the bar and restaurant.
So instead of going for one big launch, we spread it out and came up with multiple smaller campaign that would fit social media and involve the local community.
Involving the locals
First we invited everyone to send us their private recipes for well known Norwegian dishes, so we could put one of them on the restaurant menu for real.
We also invited everyone to nominate local heroes, so that we could name a meeting room after his/her name.
I November, two days before Lillestrøm Sports Club were to play their first cup final in years, we “stole” the previous trophy they won and hid it in one of the hotel rooms. Then we invited two recognized players to “Escape Room Live,” an event sent live on Facebook where they had to find the trophy with the help of the locals. Participants could provide help and useful tips through comments, and we reached more than 4000 people with the stunt (there are 12.500 living in Lillestrøm).
More than 6 months before the opening, at the yearly “summer city event” we invited people to have their portraits taken, for what would turn out to be the biggest Christmas Calendar ever seen in Lillestrøm (and maybe Norway).
In December the whole facade of the hotel was turned into one giant Christmas Calendar. Every morning the light would go on in one window revealing the portrait of a local winner.