Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a global leader in hospitality for more than 50 years, wanted to highlight its hotels' improvements, specifically to female business travelers. To do so, it turned to Lightbox Ads. Taking advantage of the format"s creative canvas, Hyatt brought its brand to life in a full-screen rich media experience. Hyatt also ran YouTube TrueView video ads to expand the reach of its Lightbox Ads, driving engagement among its target audience across the web.


  • Create iconic experience by capturing potential business travelers' attention with inspiring video creative
  • Reach the right people at the right time by targeting the right audience
  • Tell Hyatt’s story and make potential business travelers feel special


  • Use Lightbox Ads with entertaining embedded videos
  • Target female business travelers
  • Run complementary TrueView video ads on YouTube


  • Exposure to 17 million potential business travelers
  • High engagement rate of 2.8%—500,000 engagements
  • $0.23 average CPE is 26% lower than campaign average
  • Cost-efficient way of reaching qualified leads
April 2014

A leader in the hospitality industry for over 50 years, Hyatt Hotels Corporation strives to make customers feel “more than welcome” at more than 500 hotels worldwide. After an 18-month series of global listening sessions revealed striking customer insights from female business travelers, Hyatt* saw a large opportunity to improve the business travel experience for all guests and to grow customer satisfaction with women in particular. Needing to share the new-and-improved Hyatt guest experience and its “we’re listening” brand message with female travelers, Hyatt turned to Google. Using unique ad formats in an integrated campaign across Google Display, YouTube and Google+, Hyatt reached its target audience and created an engaging brand experience.


Unfolding new opportunities with digital

Customers are at the center of the Hyatt brand experience, including marketing. In recent years, Hyatt’s marketing strategy has evolved to focus more heavily on reaching consumers online, where they often research and plan travel. “As consumer behavior evolves, it makes sense that we follow them into the digital platforms where they’re living,” says Dan Moriarty, Hyatt’s director of social strategy. “With digital channels, our marketing dollars are trackable and efficient, which is why we allocate more than half of our annual media spend to digital,” adds Frank Wong, Hyatt’s director of digital media.

Digital media played a crucial role in Hyatt’s recent campaign targeting female business travelers. After learning that a number of women “largely felt the hotel experience had been designed by men, for men, we made several changes to improve the female guest experience,” says Emily Wright, a senior manager responsible for Hyatt’s brand experience. Some of these improvements included adding high-quality bath amenities to every room, making female-friendly amenities such as curling irons available on request and updating the in-room dining menu with healthier options.

We needed to reach the right people, deliver the Hyatt brand experience online and get a qualified audience to take action and learn more about the changes we’ve made. We feel our Lightbox Ad campaign delivered against that.

To create awareness of these enhancements, Hyatt curated a series of satirical YouTube videos that humorously showed typical travel and hotel situations. “Our ‘Hotel Klepto’ video talks about all the bath products guests take from hotels, even if they’re not worth using again,” says Wright. Another video portrays a female business traveler overpacking to the extreme, only to discover she won’t need any of it because Hyatt has the amenities she will need. “The videos show that Hyatt understands what women travelers need, and we’re here to deliver it. We get it,” says Wright. With its original and playful take on the hotel experience, Hyatt ensured its content would be relatable and engaging for its target audience.

Telling an effective brand story with Engagement Ads

Hyatt’s challenge was delivering these entertaining videos to the target audience in a memorable way while cultivating a great brand experience and piquing curiosity about the recent improvements. “A key goal of this campaign was to dynamically bring our story to life online,” says Wright. “That brought us to Lightbox Ads.”

A unique format in the Engagement Ad family, Lightbox Ads let advertisers create and scale beautiful brand messages across the web, paying only when a user chooses to engage with the ad. Beginning as a standard IAB-sized unit, Lightbox Ads expand into a full-screen rich media creative canvas once a user hovers over the ad for two seconds, making it the perfect vehicle for Hyatt to create an immersive brand experience. Hyatt’s Lightbox Ads feature different videos that users can engage with, all within the expanded unit.

“We appreciate that Lightbox Ads give consumers the choice of interacting with our ad units, and that if they choose to engage, they can consume our content in their current environment without having to click to another website,” notes Wong. “That noninvasive user experience is important to Hyatt, as we always try to see things from the customer’s perspective.”

Engaging the right consumers at the right cost

With Google, Hyatt can control the delivery of its ads to a precise audience. “On top of bringing our brand to life through the creativity of Lightbox Ads, Google’s sophisticated targeting capabilities let us efficiently reach our desired audience for these ads—female business travelers who stay in hotels more than eight nights per year,” explains Wright. To build on the reach of its Lightbox Ads, Hyatt runs YouTube TrueView video ads that also target female business travelers. “It was a complementary buy that worked really well for us in reaching those travelers,” says Wright.

Reaching this audience is a cost-effective endeavor for Hyatt because the cost-per-engagement (CPE) pricing of Engagement Ads means it pays only for engagements from qualified users. “Paying per engagement ensures an efficient buy and delivery to a qualified audience. We really love being able to do that with Google,” says Wright.

Strong results surpass expectations

The Lightbox Ads successfully created awareness of Hyatt’s revamped brand experience, touching 17 million users and receiving half a million engagements. “We saw great engagement, at a rate of 2.8%, which is higher than the industry average,” says Wong. He notes that the average CPE, at $0.23, is 26% lower than Hyatt’s overall campaign average, largely exceeding expectations. “Our investment was justified by the low CPE and the quality of users we were able to reach,” he says, noting that the qualified users who engaged with Hyatt’s ad and clicked through to the website were more likely to book, compared to traffic from other sources.

Listening to customers

Hyatt further collaborated with Google to continue listening and identifying new ways of driving guest satisfaction. In a recently hosted Google+ Hangout with Hyatt’s chief marketing officer, Hyatt aimed to get real-time feedback from customers and to deepen social connections with its audience by answering questions. “Hearing directly from guests about what could be improved was a good opportunity for everyone,” says Moriarty. As the Hyatt experience unfolds in new directions, it will turn to Google’s brand solutions. “Over the years, we’ve really appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with Google,” says Wright. “As we change and evolve as a branded organization, our two-way dialogue with Google allows us to match Google’s solutions to our brand and strategic needs.”

* The term “Hyatt” is used for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation or to one or more of its affiliates.