CHALLENGING THE CORPORATE PROMO
December 14, 2016
When we embarked on a project to make a series of films promoting the Salthouse Harbour Hotel, we didn’t think that would mean challenging the corporate video. As we did more and more research, we discovered that although 87% of us are influenced in our hotel choice by its online social presence, the hotel industry is seriously lagging behind when it comes to using online video to its full potential. Although we consider ourselves to be the proof that corporate video doesn’t have to be boring, all too often the hotel videos we found came across as corporate, dull, and not at all the right style for selling an experience at a four star boutique hotel. So how did we approach our project with a hotel which isn’t corporate or dull at all?
The Salthouse has a strong brand personality both online and in person; the premise they came to us with was ‘We’re not a run of the mill hotel, so we don’t want a run of the mill video.’ The hotel has an idiosyncratic style with unique decor and quirky artwork, and therefore we knew that we had a great basis for reflecting this on film. We decided to create a series of three films, each of which would focus on a different aspect of the hotel – food, accommodation etc. – but also give the location a very different look and feel, allowing the style and design of the hotel to influence us each time
SENSE OF PLACE
Film is an especially powerful tools for hotels, as customers are keen to see what the accommodation looks like before they book. Film can be very evocative when it comes to creating a sense of place – how many times have you watched a movie and walked out of the cinema desperate to book a your next trip to the film’s location? The Salthouse wanted people to watch the films and think ‘I want to go there!’ so it was important for us to use various techniques to incorporate and sell the location as an experience. We tried to incorporate it into our shots in unusual ways, so that an aerial shot of the mariner in front of the hotel shows its water pouring into the sleek copper bath in the penthouse suite, for instance.
TEASE & TANTALISE
When we were struggling to find creative style examples from the hotel industry during our initial research, we realised that often hotel films were revealing too much with dull wide shots of exteriors and rooms We were looking for a much more cinematic aesthetic, and found inspiration in the title sequences for big budget HBO dramas, Olive Kitteridge and True Detective. They gave us the idea that these films should be all about creating a mood and giving a sense of the kind of experience you get at The Salthouse. Awakening curiosity, but never revealing too much. So you only ever get to see a distorted reflection in the water of the hotel’s exterior; you never see a whole room. It’s more about picking out the elements which evoke the senses, and being playful with them, with every shot meticulously planned and set up.
The three films all had a great response online, and we’ve now got an exciting new project in the pipeline with The Salthouse’s sister hotel, The Angel in Bury St Edmunds, so keep your eyes peeled!