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The power of the heist - and social media!

Ideon Innovation's social media expert Anya Trybala tells us about how to create a buzz around your company with a little help from the combination of an irl-campaign and social media! This is part of a series of blogposts where we dwell in to marketing and communication.


Before launching any sort of campaign or creating a sparkly set of social media channels for your company or startup STOP! Just have a little think about your service or product and whether you should even be on every platform before firing them up. There is something a bit dismal about an inactive social media page from a company you want to find out more about, so take it down if you're not active and regroup!

First up, it’s important not to approach social media with a cookie-cutter approach - everyone has different needs and while something like Instagram is a fantastic option for some, it’s an unneccessary hassle for others and could actually do more damage to a brand than good, if not properly utilised (or your photos suck!)

While there are an estimated 1.952 billion social media users worldwide, you need to know what platform and also IRL (in real life) experiences suit your activities and business. Often it’s more powerful to have people talking about you than directly conversing with your brand on a typical platform, or even better, getting in the good books of a social media influencer to chat about what you’re offering. Combining a digital experience and online community with a physical one can also prove genius.

Take the experience created by Naked Communications and the Art Series Hotel Group in Melbourne, Australia in 2014. The hotels offer guests the opportunity to be amongst prolific Australian artists work in their hotels, such as John Olsson and Charles Blackman and just soak up the artwork. The problem?

Each year, like many boutique hotels, the summer months are hard to fill with guests in rooms and create a wasted opportunity and lost revenue. Rather than offering a tired old discount or special offer, the plan was to create a conversation on social media and actually use it as a tool to sell rooms - and using something a little daring IRL to boot!

Their ‘Stay the Night, Steal the Art’ campaign offered the ‘chance’ to essentially steal a Banksy art piece and keep it. A Bansky piece (an artist already associated with theft) was hung up in the rooms at certain intervals. If a person could come in and ‘steal’ the piece, it was theirs to keep. Socia media was instrumental in the success of the campaign as tips, clues, shared experiences and other bits and pieces were spreading online. Many attempts were made, and it was eventually stolen, with another piece popping up yet again for a second wave of conversations.

The whole concept kind of plays on the thrill of a heist and certain devilish desire within humans to steal stuff - and also created a huge impact online.

The campaign exceeded the bookings target by 50% and achieved an ROI of 300% - earning $2.1m worth of media coverage across 61 countries. It truly positioned the Art Series Hotel chain as a global micro-brand who have continued with innovative campaigns following up recent years, such as Overstay your Checkout, amongst other daring projects.

It just goes to show the power of how digital and physical campaigns can work together to create an ephemeral experience with long-lasting outcomes and benefits.

I mean, it’s 2017 and I STILL remember this campaign!


You can read more about the campaigne here.

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