IHG and Coca-Cola Look for Next Instagram Video Star This Summer

Video kiosks give UGC unique twist

InterContinental Hotels Group’s summer promotion gives movie fans 15 seconds to pitch their most creative story idea to Hollywood for a chance to meet actor Josh Lucas.

Summer promotions are a staple for IHG, but this year’s "Reel Summer" campaign brings long-standing partner Coca-Cola into the mix. "As we’ve continued to engage further in our relationship with Coca-Cola, we wanted to take what was exciting about both of those brands," said Lara Hernandez, vp of distribution and commercial marketing for the Americas at IHG.

The campaign seeks to increase the number of mobile and social photo uploads during the summer by linking Instagram directly into a microsite. The top 25 videos will be sent to a casting director and Lucas at the end of the summer, and the winner will get to meet the actor, who is gearing up to promote his new role on NBC’s fall drama, The Mysteries of Laura.

Unlike many marketers enlisting user-generated content that solely lives on a social network (and then may never be reused), IHG's microsite requires a registration and preserves submitted content. Once an account is created, consumers can upload their videos with the hashtag #ReelSummerContest via the Instagram app, which will then be vetted by the brand. If an image is approved, it will automatically upload to the campaign’s site.

These kinds of one-off social promotions are easy for brands to pull off, so IHG is placing pop-up video kiosks in New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Atlanta to grab the attention of passersby who aren’t already cranking out their own content while walking down the street.

The one-day digital installments are set up in New York’s Flatiron Plaza today and will move to Atlanta and Toronto later this month. San Francisco’s out-of-home effort will take place on July 18.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how the video kiosks work:

Both brands are heavily relying on their own digital, social and mobile assets in addition to display ads for promotion.

IHG is also stepping up its mobile app efforts this summer into a broader campaign. Reel Summer offers will be pulled into an app for loyalty program members, and calls-to-action promoting downloads are plastered on the outside of the video kiosks.

The idea behind incorporating more content into an app is to move mobile beyond sales. "It’s that plus much more because it’s the way that customers want to engage with us," Hernandez said.

That perspective on mobile bodes well for IHG and other hotel brands. Forrester Research expects e-commerce to bring in $249 billion within the U.S. this year, with only $87 billion of those transactions taking place on smartphones and tablets.

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