Stella Artois brings five-star hotel service to homebodies

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Anheuser-Busch beer brand Stella Artois has created a virtual Hotel Artois at Home experience to bring housebound consumers the services of a five-star hotel stay, according to details the brand shared with Marketing Dive.
  • Perks include doorside contactless check-in so guests can collect their personalized itinerary, mini-bar with snacks and a room service care package, along with a tablet that will facilitate virtual interactions with a hotel staff stocked with celebrities, per the contest rules page. Guests will receive a wake-up call from actor Liev Schreiber, personalized experiences curated by basketball player Blake Griffin as the hotel’s concierge, room service from Eva Longoria, who will work with local chefs to create a meal, and a virtual one-on-one with bartender Andy Cohen. Cohen has also created a Hotel Artois Happy Hour Hits playlist on Spotify that anyone can check out.
  • Bookings are available periodically on a first come, first serve basis through Sept. 2 via a bookings portal. Consumers are encouraged to tweet @StellaArtois using #HotelArtois to get hints about when bookings will open.

Dive Insight:

With in-person experiential marketing out of favor because of the coronavirus pandemic, Stella Artois is bringing a memorable lifestyle experience into people’s homes. The idea appears to be a riff on experiential hospitality, which was a breakout trend in 2019 before the health crisis, that was embraced by Taco Bell, Oscar Mayer, Jim Beam and others as a way to engage loyal customers and extend their reach into more areas of these consumers’ lives by giving them a way to stay overnight with a brand.

Stella Artois’ virtual hotel experience is the latest iteration of the brand’s summer marketing campaign, “You’re Never Too Far From The Life Artois,” that promotes daydreaming to make the best of an uncertain year. The AB InBev brand’s effort kicked off last month with a three-minute music video starring Longoria, Schreiber and Griffin, as well as others who dance their way across city streets, apartments and rooftops.

The celebrities featured in the brand’s summer ads are now being enlisted to help entertain consumers in a more personal manner with in-home activations that mix virtual exchanges with celebrities and real-world experiences, like a minibar filled with beer and room service.

“For many people, our homes became ‘the office’ this year, so it can be hard to embrace it as a comparable location to the faraway summer getaway you were envisioning,” the brand said in a statement. “With the Hotel Artois At Home, we hope to inspire people with ways to escape to a daydreamy state of mind from the cool comfort of their own homes with some epic treats courtesy of Stella.”

Vacations, or the difficulties they present during a summer of social distancing, is a recurring theme for Stella Artois. The beer brand also partnered with travel site Tripadvisor to transform canceled vacations due to the pandemic into memorable staycations in consumers’ local cities. Consumers whose dream vacations were canceled could share their stories in the “Stella Staycation Swap” for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid staycation in their town to explore local sites, restaurants and hotels.

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