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Hitting the Right Note

Hitting the Right Note

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

January 6, 2020

Creative Director of Agence W Paris, Paul Groves, says a musically focused campaign reinvigorates the ibis customer experience.

"We have worked on a vibrant, impassioned brand with an irrepressible connection to music"

Agence W’s newest campaign for ibis, “Let the Music Play,” embeds musical experience into the brand’s core—right down to a dancing logo. Creative Director of Agence W Paris, Paul Groves, shares how the strategy elevated ibis’ three brands and ultimately made way for a more memorable, meaningful, and emotional customer experience.

How did ibis and Agence W settle on music as a theme for this campaign?

We haven‘t got any scientific pro-consumer data on the subject but the reality of the network was that many ibis’s already had a music culture, regular local concerts, DJ nights, and musical themes. We decided we had to magnify this reality to a global audience. Music is embraced globally, makes people feel good and elicits emotion, and appeals to everyone in a very unique and personal way. The passion for music cannot be captured in mere words; it must be lived and experienced. It is from this insight that we have worked on a vibrant, impassioned brand with an irrepressible connection to music.

A key motivation of this campaign was to separate ibis from the chain’s other brands, ibis Styles, and ibis budget. Why was this so important?

Even though the three ibis brands are seen as one big family, each ibis has a slightly different target audience; hence it was important to create three unique brand passions: ibis equals music, ibis Styles equals creativity and design, and ibis Budget equals urban street culture. This helps each brand in creating a more unique emotional experience.

What is the ibis MUSIC platform?

This year, in parallel with the new branding, ibis launched ibis MUSIC—a year-long partnership with Sony Music organizing over 45 talent-spotting gigs in ibis hotels throughout the world, with four headline singers to support these events. We worked with Spotify to share these emerging artists on social media networks, and we had a final showcase event at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, August 2019.

All elements of the ‘Let The Music Play’ are, as the name suggests, musically inspired. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept and the original song created for it?

We decided to bring this concept to life in a vibrant way around three main pillars. The first was verbal language—a tone of voice that was inspired by famous song titles. The brand manifesto was inspired by a 34-song title “mash-up” with original music composed for the brand. It was then filmed and edited as a clip to share on social media.

The second pillar was graphic language. We designed special typography, “Vibis,” based on four distinct musical styles (rock, metal, jazz, and classical). We paired the “Vibis” typography with a photo shoot lead by a young talented Brazilian photographer, Felipe Barbosa in the ibis flagship in Barcelona. This showcased the irresistible vibration that seizes the hotel guests.

The third pillar was motion language. Agence W has invented an ibis brand that literally lives and reacts to music. The logo and typography have been designed to move and dance to the sounds of different musical styles. From check-in screens to welcome messages in-room to personalized Spotify playlists for each guest, motion design is everywhere and the ibis logo is truly “responsive.”

Ibis’ investment in music is ultimately to make the customer experience meaningful and more compelling. How does music connect to the ibis experience?

The ibis brand is ahead of other economic brands. It understands that the essential thing is to develop a state of mind in which customers can get to know each other and themselves better. This is a fundamental aspect of designing an experience that is both compelling and provides meaning. We all remember a good concert, but who remembers the sheets they slept on?

"We have worked on a vibrant, impassioned brand with an irrepressible connection to music"

Agence W’s newest campaign for ibis, “Let the Music Play,” embeds musical experience into the brand’s core—right down to a dancing logo. Creative Director of Agence W Paris, Paul Groves, shares how the strategy elevated ibis’ three brands and ultimately made way for a more memorable, meaningful, and emotional customer experience.

How did ibis and Agence W settle on music as a theme for this campaign?

We haven‘t got any scientific pro-consumer data on the subject but the reality of the network was that many ibis’s already had a music culture, regular local concerts, DJ nights, and musical themes. We decided we had to magnify this reality to a global audience. Music is embraced globally, makes people feel good and elicits emotion, and appeals to everyone in a very unique and personal way. The passion for music cannot be captured in mere words; it must be lived and experienced. It is from this insight that we have worked on a vibrant, impassioned brand with an irrepressible connection to music.

A key motivation of this campaign was to separate ibis from the chain’s other brands, ibis Styles, and ibis budget. Why was this so important?

Even though the three ibis brands are seen as one big family, each ibis has a slightly different target audience; hence it was important to create three unique brand passions: ibis equals music, ibis Styles equals creativity and design, and ibis Budget equals urban street culture. This helps each brand in creating a more unique emotional experience.

What is the ibis MUSIC platform?

This year, in parallel with the new branding, ibis launched ibis MUSIC—a year-long partnership with Sony Music organizing over 45 talent-spotting gigs in ibis hotels throughout the world, with four headline singers to support these events. We worked with Spotify to share these emerging artists on social media networks, and we had a final showcase event at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, August 2019.

All elements of the ‘Let The Music Play’ are, as the name suggests, musically inspired. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept and the original song created for it?

We decided to bring this concept to life in a vibrant way around three main pillars. The first was verbal language—a tone of voice that was inspired by famous song titles. The brand manifesto was inspired by a 34-song title “mash-up” with original music composed for the brand. It was then filmed and edited as a clip to share on social media.

The second pillar was graphic language. We designed special typography, “Vibis,” based on four distinct musical styles (rock, metal, jazz, and classical). We paired the “Vibis” typography with a photo shoot lead by a young talented Brazilian photographer, Felipe Barbosa in the ibis flagship in Barcelona. This showcased the irresistible vibration that seizes the hotel guests.

The third pillar was motion language. Agence W has invented an ibis brand that literally lives and reacts to music. The logo and typography have been designed to move and dance to the sounds of different musical styles. From check-in screens to welcome messages in-room to personalized Spotify playlists for each guest, motion design is everywhere and the ibis logo is truly “responsive.”

Ibis’ investment in music is ultimately to make the customer experience meaningful and more compelling. How does music connect to the ibis experience?

The ibis brand is ahead of other economic brands. It understands that the essential thing is to develop a state of mind in which customers can get to know each other and themselves better. This is a fundamental aspect of designing an experience that is both compelling and provides meaning. We all remember a good concert, but who remembers the sheets they slept on?

Patricia Murphy is a content creator with a background in digital health and lifestyle journalism. She loves to chat and tell stories.

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