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Hyatt aims to increase bookings via targeted mobile ads

Hyatt is targeting business travelers via a new mobile advertising campaign that aims to help drive bookings for its Hyatt Place hotels.

The ads are delivered to mobile users who are in the process of accessing the airport’s Wi-Fi service. While there is often a fee attached to such use, travelers can receive free Wi-Fi access in exchange for clicking on and watching a short video from Hyatt Place.

“Hyatt is always looking to target an audience of business travelers in an environment that they feel creates opportunities for engagement,” said Sal Candela, mobile director at agency PHD Mobile, New York, which worked with Hyatt on the campaign.

“We felt that this was a great opportunity to be in an environment where business travelers are to take advantage of a unique and engaging platform and deliver a message that they wanted to get in front of that core audience,” he said.

Reaching an audience
The campaign highlights Hyatt Place’s free breakfast for guests called the a.m. Kitchen Skillet, which features freshly prepared breakfast sandwiches.

The Hyatt campaign launched two weeks ago and is ongoing. Mobile users in airports trying to access Wi-Fi see the various connection options, including paying a fee for a day pass or month pass or getting Wi-Fi for free in exchange for watching Hyatt Place’s ad.

After watching the video, users can connect directly to the brand’s mobile landing page.

“We are active in mobile,” Mr. Candela said.

“The business traveler audience in general is one that is at the forefront of using mobile devices throughout the day,” he said.

“It made a lot of sense to get out early and be able to test and understand how this might influence future strategies for the brand moving forward.”

Engaging experiences
The Hyatt Place campaign is being delivered via JiWire’s new Mobile Ads for Access advertising solution that enables brands to offer mobile audiences free Wi-Fi access in exchange for engaging with their advertisement. JiWire reports that launch partners such as British Airways, Comcast and Hyatt have seen engagement rates of up to 38 percent and video completion rates up to 67 percent.

Targeting travelers in airports can be a meaningful strategy for marketers, with JiWire reporting that 45 percent of all Wi-Fi connections across the JiWire network during the first quarter of 2012 came from smartphones and tablets. The company also said this number has doubled in the past 12 months.

The mobile advertising solution was designed to give brands a way to go beyond the standard banner to drive engagement and to create a way to make mobile ads useful.

This is an extension of a similar program offered by JiWire delivering ads to laptops trying to access airport Wi-Fi.

“What better way to insure you are reaching a business traveler than in an airport, which is mostly business travelers,” said David Staas, interim CEO of JiWire, San Francisco. “Some of the early campaigns we have been running with this are seeing a 38 percent engagement rate.”

“People are looking at that offer and clicking and engaging with a brand,” he said. “Compare that with a less than one percent engagement for the typical mobile banner ad.

“People are clicking on that offer and going to that experience. This is providing an incredible level of engagement that is difficult to find anywhere else in mobile.”