Setting the Scene
Beverly Hills is a globally recognised luxury destination. Pre-pandemic, it attracted 7.4 million visitors annually. When Covid-19 hit in 2020 and travel restrictions were enforced, hotel occupancy dropped from 75% to zero, and all outlets closed.
In November 2020, the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau (BHCVB) CEO, Julie Wagner, asked us; “How do we keep Beverly Hills front of mind for global travellers when the world has come to a standstill? How can we remain visible, and on people’s travel lists for when the world re-opens? And how can we use this time to engage and attract new luxury audiences in 2021?”
When other travel brands were scaling back their marketing, Beverly Hills recognised that there was work to do to ensure a global bounce-back of visitors when travel restrictions lifted, and they turned to London-based Stripe Communications to help them.
It wasn’t just the pandemic that we were faced with. The country was experiencing a racial uprising following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police. These events sparked global outrage, leading to a worldwide movement that forced people, companies, and brands to re-evaluate diversity and inclusion at every level.
There was also political unrest, as Trump supporters attacked the Capitol when he was voted out of office.
Although none of these events took place in Beverly Hills or Los Angeles, the shocking images tarnished the USA, damaging its tourism brand.
Additionally, global audiences were re-evaluating the meaning of luxury. It no longer meant flashing wealth and material possessions. It meant having your health, being safe and secure, and being able to spend quality time with loved ones.
To resonate with existing and new luxury audiences we had to take the destination’s positioning in a new direction, away from the expected approach centered around luxury living.
- Embrace digital platforms, with a multi-platform approach
- A targeted approach to ensure a captive, international, luxury audience
- While content can’t be overly commercial, Beverly Hills to remain central to the story
- Guaranteed reach with measurable ROI
Idea, Research & Planning
We recommended BHCVB to take a different creative approach, moving away from the expected luxury that Beverly Hills had become recognised. We identified that to remain relevant they needed to reach a cooler and younger audience that hadn’t previously considered the destination.
Pre-pandemic, luxury audiences were becoming increasingly digital, moving away from elite luxury to be more environmentally and morally conscious. Events of 2020 accelerated these trends. It was the year of great disruption with political, economic, social and cultural factors coming into play.
With international travel restricted and lockdowns continuing, luxury content moved from immersive experiences to digital ones. Both long and short form content grew as audiences looked to stay informed, educated, and inspired.
Our idea was to explore the ‘great disruption of luxury’ by showcasing Beverly Hills through the eyes of creative talent that lived there. We proposed partnering with culturally relevant people that weren’t famous for living in Beverly Hills, instead known for their creative talent and unique perspectives.
We aimed to show Beverly Hills through their eyes with two cinematic-quality, short documentaries that would create a narrative that was relevant in the current climate and positioned BHCVB at the forefront of a new luxury, inspiring audiences who longed to travel again.
But, to reach these affluent audiences, we needed a credible, global platform. We identified Monocle.com – a global briefing covering international affairs, business, culture and design. The average age of Monocle Digital is 34, with more than half of readers in senior decision making, director, or C-Suite positions. Pre-Covid, Monocle readers took an average of 10 business trips per year and would spend and Suite average of £4,300 on holidays.
Monocle has established itself as a media maverick through its pricing strategy, retail expansion and commitment to being a premium media company. Their journalists report from around the world ensuring local, authentic, original, unique, and engaging content, whilst maintaining a strong and clear tone that matched our aspirations for this project.
Strategy, Creativity & Innovation
Luxury is in Beverly Hills’ DNA and is epitomised by the likes of The Beverly Hills Hotel with its iconic design features. We proposed to shine a spotlight on people who could help us transform the old-world luxury with a renewed purpose.
In documentary format, we offered a behind the scenes look at two entrepreneurs that gave a connection to the place as well as a community of like-minded people. It was important to identify talent whose accomplishments were not measured on individual success, but the community and cultural contribution they created.
We recruited British fashion designer, Adrien Sauvage who relocated to Beverly Hills in 2016, whose collections are influenced by his Ghanaian roots, as well as a punk or rude boy aesthetic.
We also appointed David Alhadeff, entrepreneur and Founder of The Future Perfect, a contemporary design gallery. His latest location, Casa Perfect, is set in a 1971 villa in Beverly Hills, which doubles up as Alhadeff’s home.
Stripe worked virtually across time-zones to form talent relationships, devise storyboards, appoint and direct the producer, film director and editor to ensure that our vision was realised remotely.
Delivery, Implementation & Tactics
Stripe project managed the entire process, including art direction. We created the social media assets and devised a social media strategy that worked across earned, owned and paid channels globally.
The campaign launched in January 2021 and included:
- Owned: organic and paid distribution through Facebook and Instagram
- Earned: through talent channels and PR announcement to global travel media
- Paid: Monocole.com and boosted social
Measurement, Impact & Evaluation
Due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions in 2021, measurement is based on the success of the content, which achieved 134,495,402 million impressions globally.
- Total Impressions
- Total thruplays
- Video completion
- less than $0.01
- Cost per result per social media platform
- Monocle.com reach
- Media placements
- Media hits, globally
Keeping Beverly Hills relevant during a pandemic
A campaign to keep the City of Beverly Hills relevant for global millennial and Gen Z audiences during political unrest, racial inequality, and the Covid-19 pandemic that restricted international travel.