IHG: Driving awareness for IHG corporate and hotel brands in Australasia, and the region

Challenge

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s largest hotel groups, was losing market share in Australia to its key competitor, Accor, and others. With a number of properties exiting the IHG portfolio in Australia and competitors aggressively increasing their presence, we needed to bring IHG back to the fore. Since early 2013, opr has partnered with other opr teams (namely the ‘hub’ agency in Singapore, along with opr India), to ensure IHG is kept front of mind with key audiences of consumers, hotel industry, and owners / investors in Australia, and the wider Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region.

Insight

IHG’s local brands of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express (launched in March 2016) each attract a different audience. To drive awareness and preference for each particular brand, we needed to set the right content and tone to speak directly to each of those audiences. Additionally, Accor spokespeople had achieved greater coverage in media than that of IHG in the previous two years, so our aim was to turn the tables. We wanted to see IHG and its COO profiled in key events and media.

Idea

Our approach was multi-faceted, to include: Ongoing news generation and pitching for all core brands; Targeted media familiarisation tours (both for Australian properties, and international properties); Integrated brand campaigns working in partnership with hub agency, creative, media and digital; Global and regional news pitching to Australian media; Crisis and issues management; Hotel development news, including signings and openings; Corporate profiling and pitching of global and regional assets and spokespeople; Event briefings and media management.

Impact

Media coverage: Over 320 pieces of editorial coverage generated for IHG corporate and brands in Q4 2015 alone

Familiarlisation tours: 35+ tier one visits coordinated since 2014, including national coverage in Fairfax and News Corp

Corporate profiling: Targeted media interviews coordinated with IHG Head of Development, Head of Commercial, Head of Franchise and COO; resulting in national media coverage and news of IHG’s growth in Australia