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Case study: opening an unusually cool hotel

Aug

2011

Sometime last year the owners of La Maison Champs Elysees came to see us to help them launch their new concept hotel. Designed in part by the unusual haute couture house Maison Martin Margiela (MMM) the hotel was obviously going to be something new and never done before.

The brief

How to advertise and popularize the hotel during the renovations period. The hotel was previously a Sofitel hotel so when it lost the chains brand recognition what remained was known at consumer level. The hotel would be shut for several month and then regular rooms would open. The MMM designer suites, restaurant, lobby and other designer elements would not be open until the grand opening. No visuals would be released until the grand opening.

La maison champs elysees.

La maison champs elysees.

The achievement

We launched a social media campaign as our target audience was end-users, we wanted to reach consumers directly and interact with them. The fact that MMM was doing a hotel was news and while we couldn’t show the design we could work on MMM’s reputation for thinking outside the box. The hub of the social media campaign was their Facebook page.
The page grew up to 6000 “fans” or likes which ever sounds best and the excitement built. We went to visit the hotel during the renovations and couldn’t wait to start showing the world some of the crazy cool stuff that MMM had thought up for the hotel. We got a time-lapse video made with MMM dubbed “guilding the halls” which shows how the MMM team hand layed thousands of sheets of aluminum to literally create a silver lining in the elevator lobby.

With a project like this there was no way a “Coming Soon Site” would ever give it credit, well of course we did get one up with the single image that MMM has produced for the pre-opening communication. It summarizes the entire concept of the hotel if you’ve seen the hotel designs.For those who hadn’t it was mysterious and hopefully somewhat interesting.
We knew that the opening wasn’t going to be a problem MMM’s popularity would attract media and visitors which was a given.
The next challenge was creating a website that presented the hotel with it’s unique decor but which still remained a well-oiled sales tool for the hotel. It had to have a smooth user experience which has become the trademark of a WIHP hotel site.
Several iterations later the site is now up. To showcase the hotel quick we needed high-res photos on the home page. In fact the home page is over 2MB of images and that page loads (on first load) in 4.8 seconds. If you have an idea of load-speed with regard to user experience you’ll know what this means.
The other challenge was how to present the multitude of different suites, rooms and features without creating a website that was too difficult to navigate because of too many menu levels.
The result became this site, probably one of the fastest of it’s kind on the market today.
While we can’t disclose financial revenues and visit counts the campaign and site’s success is unprecedented for a haute couture hotel.

La Maison Champs Elysees Paris.

La Maison Champs Elysees Paris.

La Maison Champs Elysees Hotel.by MMM

La Maison Champs Elysees Hotel.by MMM

The opening

For a snapshot of what the opening looked like, watch this video.


Maison Champs Elysées By Martin Margiela par hugomayer

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