ITC Grand Chola, a luxury hotel based in Chennai has been setting impressive footprints on Social Media. Last we heard about the launch campaign of the hotel named Tweets for Treats which was successful in garnering publicity for the new property. They have come up with another campaign yet again and this time it is a photography contest.
ITC Grand Chola has launched a photo feature contest called ‘Glimpses of Paradise’ which aims at providing the online audience with a sneak preview of what the hotel has to offer through user generated photography.
The brand has created an application on Facebook called Glimpse of Paradise. The application directs the users to a microsite where photo enthusiasts have to upload their work. The microsite allows users to read about the contest, view the gallery, upload photos and peek into the world of hotel Chola.
To participate, users can upload a maximum of 5 pictures via the microsite. Users who want to showcase 10 photographs which is the limit, they need to sign in with both their account Facebook and Twitter. The ITC hotels jury will reserve the right to select the best 3 photographs and these photographers will be invited to stay at the grand hotel. They will also be able to capture and share their experiences through smartphones and DSLRs through a live Instagram feed. The gratification is further extended to creating a coffee table book and acknowledging the work of the winners as a part of the book.
The Facebook posts which are promoting the application have hash-tag #GlimpseOfParadise and are posted at regular intervals.
#ImageoftheDay has also been started where the best images are featured through the posts and users are encouraged to participate in the contest.
On Twitter, tweets with the same hash-tags are being used to promote the contest.
— ITC Grand Chola (@ITCGrandChola) July 13, 2013
— ITC Grand Chola (@ITCGrandChola) July 20, 2013
The design of the microsite is appealing. The backdrop of the website is made of the photo submissions by users and is dynamic. The microsite has a very user- friendly interface.
Users are motivated to showcase extra photos if they sign in with both Facebook and Twitter ids, while giving them the option of signing in through either. A viral approach has been opted by basing the best photos on the number of likes received.
A Fan Gate is created which is very important, both because it demonstrates privilege to the fans and also increases the number of fans.
The campaign supports the brand message of grandeur and luxury since the contest is about lifestyle photography.
Instagram is a great social media network to include in the campaign connecting the photography element in the contest. However, the brand is not on Instagram yet so it’s yet uncertain of how this will be executed.
Scope for Improvement
The first thing I noticed while reviewing the campaign was that the cover image is generic. It must represent the current campaign and lead users to the application. What is really surprising is that the image has not been designed according to the dimensions of a cover photo.
Secondly, a photo contest has a lot of scope for promotion since it’s a visual treat. Photographs which are termed ‘Image of the day’ can easily be pinned to the top of the wall for the entire day. This will serve a dual purpose of increasing participation and promoting the application. Also, the photographers name can be attributed to the photo by tagging him/her so the person will then share and increase the reach.
A good campaign to support the application could have been carried out on Twitter to increase interaction and engagement. #Imageoftheday is an already taken hash-tag. They could have chosen a unique hash-tag and made it the topic of discussion among photographers. This would have led to greater follower building for the brand. There are lots of photography conversations going on on Twitter but ITC Chola has not attempted to strike a conversation or get into any.
Though there is a fanbase of 25K+ on the brand’s Facebook page, the posts have not received a lot of engagement. The brand could have promoted the contest in better ways.
Overall I feel the concept of the campaign is very exciting and powerful. However there are loopholes in the execution. It is a very simple contest, not supported by Twitter but innovative since Instagram is roped into the campaign.