American Marketer


Mandarin Oriental stokes early interest in Milan property

May 22, 2015

View of Hong Kong View of Hong Kong


The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is helping the brand's soon-to-be-opened Milan property gain a fan base with a social media campaign and thematic restaurant effort.

The Mandarin Oriental Milan occupies four 19th century buildings, houses 104 rooms and will be opening later in the summer. To spur bookings or simply to increase awareness of the property for future travel plans, the brand is encouraging guests at its flagship property to consider Milan's culture.

"For a hotel group, the most favorable market is its current guests," said Taylor Rains managing partner of Flugel Consulting, Charleston, SC. "If you can build up consumer loyalty in a brand and drive repeat or inter-property traffic, you've crossed a major threshold.

"Promoting a new property within an existing one is a great way to generate awareness and interest among current guests," he said. "By executing the campaign on social media, Mandarin Oriental is increasing the reach of its message.

"Hotel brands have a high level of engagement on social and people are very willing to interact with properties on these channels. And a contents is almost always a great way to strengthen engagement levels."

Mr. Rains is not affiliated with Mandarin Oriental, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Mandarin Oriental was unable to comment by press deadline.

Internal boost
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is setting aside the weekends this summer to let guests in the MO Bar acclimate themselves to Italian cuisine.

Guests who order a glass of red or white wine or a pitcher of Peroni beer will be served an apertivo, an Italian tradition consisting of a variety of foods, typically on a three-tiered tray.

MO Bar's take on the apertivo will be served on a custom designed Art Deco tray. For the first round, guests will received Italian salamis and charcuterie, olives, Italian cheese, antipasti and crostinis.

MO Bar at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

MO Bar

The second round includes lasagna, arancini, grilled polenta and fritto misto. Of course, guests are encouraged to order wine or Peroni beer throughout.

Although Italian cuisine can be found everywhere in the world, this eclectic and filling meal will nonetheless give guests a good idea of what to expect in Italy since it is under the aegis of Mandarin Oriental Milan.

Italian wines at MO Bar

Italian wines at MO Bar

To further incite interest in the Milan opening, the Hong Kong property is inviting guests to participate in a social media campaign called #MOBarHK_Aperitivo.

Winners of the contest will receive a complimentary stay at the Milan property when it opens.

The contest begins May 27. Specific details about the contest will be revealed in the days to come.

Keeping what works
Mandarin Oriental regularly leverages social media contests to build communities and survey consumer interests.

For instance, Mandarin Oriental, Paris helped guests create social media memories with a room package dedicated to the selfie.

For “Selfie in Paris,” guests were given a three-hour private tour of the city’s best landmarks for snapping photos, based on insider tips from the hotel. Since social media has become such an integral part of the travel experience, helping ensure that guests got the shots they wanted likely left an impression on both them and their followers (see story).

Also, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong furthered its 50th anniversary celebrations with an Instagram contest that aimed to compile a broad range of experiences to give prospective consumers a feel for the area.

The #MOInsider contest asked fans to submit photos of must-see experiences that represent what Hong Kong and Bangkok mean to them. The deliberately broad guidelines for the contest likely generated a full view of both environments (see story).

"I think Mandarin Oriental will see some strong activity and increased awareness for its new property with this campaign," Mr. Rains said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York