DoubleTree by Hilton is widely known for its warm, chocolate chip cookie welcome, making travelers feel at home as soon as they settle into their rooms. We were tasked with building awareness of DoubleTree by Hilton as a forward-thinking brand that is committed to pushing the boundaries of hospitality, and we knew that DoubleTree’s famous chocolate chip cookie had to be front and center.
Research showed us that space-related news had recently seen a resurgence in pop culture and was a timely and trending topic given the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing in 2020. The team leaned into this trending conversation, connected it to its business and developed a global, integrated and experience-driven campaign: Cookie in Space.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
The Cookies in Space campaign took shape from a single tweet by Elon Musk, who announced SpaceX’s launch of a Tesla Roadster into space with a spacesuit-wearing mannequin named, Spaceman. We responded by asking if Spaceman wanted a DoubleTree cookie for his trip, which caught the attention of another company, Zero G Kitchen, who were in the process of developing a zero-gravity oven to make space more hospitable for long-duration flights. The baking of the cookie symbolized a future of space travel with the comfort of home, much like a good hotel offers.
To engage a wide array of media, consumer and industry stakeholders, we rolled out a multi-phased campaign with a series of milestones to tell the “Cookie in Space” story consistently throughout the year.
Key moments included a program launch announcement through a Satellite Media Tour with campaign spokesperson and former NASA astronaut, Mike Massimino in June; a space-themed edition of the brand’s Cook(ie) Book featuring cookie-based recipes developed by hotel teams around the world on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in August; the rocket launch in November 2019 with interviews and outreach in major news outlets; release of the baking results (in case you were wondering, chocolate chip cookies take 6x as long to back in space as they do on Earth); and outreach to the prestigious Smithsonian for display in the National Air & Space Museum.
In total, the campaign was a huge success. The team earned 1.8K+ global online, broadcast and radio placements, totaling 7.5B+ impressions – 25x original KPIs. Key placements include Food & Wine, FOX News, CNN, Associated Press, and Daily Mail, all priority outlets that fall within the DoubleTree by Hilton media mapping.
On launch day, DoubleTree captured an astonishing 99% of all cookie conversation within the hotel industry. There was a +422% increase in brand conversation during launch week and positive social sentiment increased 30 percentage points on announcement day and normalized with a sustained 10 percentage point lift.