Helping inject fun and personality into Hallmark Hotels' social media with an April Fools Day prank.

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The Project

Hallmark Hotels’ brief was to improve brand awareness throughout the UK and beyond. Following the group’s recent merger with two other hotel collections, a branding exercise was undertaken and a number of brand pillars were established, one of the key elements being ‘personality’. There was also a focus on driving weddings business so the goal was to create an engaging piece of online content that would speak to Hallmark Hotels' expertise in this sector whilst also displaying fun and personality.


The Challenge

Cunning Plan recommended using a combination of National Pet Month and April Fools Day to create a piece of digital content that could be both believable (if a little absurd) and also have some life beyond April 1st. The idea was to announce that Hallmark Hotels was introducing Pet Weddings throughout the UK, giving people the opportunity to let their furry friends get married in style. As Hallmark Hotels is a pet-friendly group of hotels, targeting this demographic was also key.

Working with our video production department we developed a story board for a believable dog wedding video. We support from the client, Llyndir Hall Hotel in Chester was set up as the wedding venue and two of the team’s French Bulldogs we’re set to play the part of bride and groom.

A wedding package was also set up on the Hallmark Hotels website providing more detail on the package and allowing users to submit an enquiry.

Everything was set up to go live on April 1st, however, press releases were issued to media ahead of time and the video was distributed to key outlets in advance in order to ensure a presence in any April Fools rundowns once the joke was revealed.

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The Outcome

The video achieved excellent results on our owned channels but the significant success came from the influencer networks who shared the content across a much broader network delivering enormous brand awareness via their channels.

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