In 2018, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants launched its first ever ad campaign, titled “Stay Human.” The campaign was meant to highlight Kimpton’s award-winning culture of heartfelt care and humanity, and the idea that it is real people who make Kimpton unique. Our agency was tasked with bringing the spirit of the ad campaign to life for Kimpton’s guests—including individuals, couples and families—through an experiential activation.
We sought to answer this challenge with a first-of-its-kind social experiment, “Room 301,” at the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Los Angeles. The Room 301 experience began with guests being greeted by grandiose angel wings hovering above the bed. A neon sign reminded people to Stay Human. Additional in-room elements included an iPad station to film video testimonials and create community playlists, a physical letter board station and guestbook 2.0 to leave messages for future guests, and a mystery vice activity. An instant camera allowed guests to capture a moment that represented their mood. Communal confessions provided a chance to– put the writing on the wall! And a final activity provided a look into human nature, where guests were asked to make a choice between keeping a perk for themselves or paying it forward.
We then brought together 12 guests for a reunion to debrief on the experience. The results of the experiment were released in March with an exclusive feature in Adweek linking to a results microsite and video recap.
The campaign garnered 232 media placements totaling over 800M impressions with articles featured in outlets like LA Times and The New York Times. Room 301 guests who shared their experience on Instagram generated over 123K likes, with the experience videos garnering over 21K views. Kimpton’s Room 301 blog post alone received 7K+ views, driving bookings that sold out for all available dates.