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Luxury hotelier Dorchester Collection creates a festive online game to help attract a younger audience, resulting in a total of 15,000 signups and 85,340 user sessions.

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Luxury hotel chain Dorchester Collection was keen to attract the attention of a younger demographic, and so decided to tap into the popularity of online gaming. In December 2015 it launched ‘Festive World’, an online Advent calendar featuring all of its hotels and destinations in the form of 3D renderings and illustrations. By signing up, individuals had the chance to win a daily prize of £100. The campaign resulted in 15,000 signups, and due to successful lead generation efforts, the game had a peak of 10,846 visitors in one day. Across social media there was much buzz generated with the #festiveworld hashtag, achieving 13,433,320 potential impressions on Twitter.

Objectives & Aims

High-end, luxury hotelier Dorchester Collection wanted to appeal to a younger demographic, in particular 25-35 year olds. To date, brand recognition and engagement among this demographic had been a challenge, and the hotelier was keen to gain their attention through gamification. Ultimately it wanted to ensure its brand was front of mind when the time came for this younger audience to purchase a stay or an experience in the future.

While the campaign aimed to engage with existing customers, the primary goal was to attract new ones, encouraging them to register on the website and provide their personal data.

The following campaign targets were set:

  • 6,000 new customer sign-ups.
  • 1,500 shares, incorporating the #Festiveworld hashtag.
  • 18% open rate on daily triggers for 25 days.
  • 1.8% CTR.
  • 5% revenue increase year-on-year.

Implementation, Execution & Tactics

Dorchester Collection launched ‘Festive World’, an online Advent calendar featuring all of its hotels and destinations in the form of 3D renderings and illustrations. Visitors could navigate around the world, choosing to view in day or night time mode. Additional interest was provided by special effects such as falling snow, Santa Claus, busy elves, presents and moving vehicles.

A teaser campaign launched on 16 November 2015 asking visitors to sign up and share ‘Festive World’ with their friends on social media, using the #festiveworld hashtag. On 1 December the virtual doors of the hotels opened and every registered user had 25 chances to open presents at any of the hotels, with the chance to win a daily prize of £100.

Activity was supported with lead generation emails and programmatic display, targeting audiences based on a lookalike model of existing customers. An email was sent to already registered guests, encouraging them to share the news with friends and family.


The campaign far surpassed its target number of signups, achieving a total of 15,000 - 9,000 above expectations.

The 'Festive World' game had a total of 85,340 sessions throughout the duration of the campaign, a low bounce rate of 31% and 57% returning visitors. Due to successful lead generation efforts, it had a peak of 10,846 visitors in one day (on 3 December). The average session time was just over two minutes, which was testimony to the engaging nature of the content.

Furthermore, 22,039 actions were completed within the game (presents opened) showing that some users had gathered multiple chances by sharing with friends and family, engaging with the 'Festive World' via social media and email.

The campaign also created a buzz on social media, exceeding the target of 1,500 shares via Facebook and Twitter. It also received 13,433,320 total potential impressions on Twitter, with an average daily impression count of 335,833 and a total potential reach of 1,429,991.