ibis: Sleep Art

A media makeover for an old standard


If it ain’t broke…

Brussels-based ibis hotel chain has long been popular with Belgian travelers and families on a budget. But while the hotels were known for being comfortable, convenient and economical, a more emotional link with the brand had to be established.

Our job was to 1) develop a compelling and coherent communication strategy to attract younger customers and a wider market in Belgium, while 2) maintaining the hotel’s leading position in brand awareness.

So —using the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as our guideline —how do we make a comfy, no-frills, family-friendly hotel sexy to a wider audience, without changing what people already like?


Staking out a new territory, telling a new story

During one of our strategy and messaging sessions with ibis, we asked a key question: what does every customer, in every age and income demographic, want from a hotel room? The answer: a really comfy bed and a great night’s sleep.

Our solution: make ibis the thought leader in the sleep domain

Beginning in 2013, ibis began staking out its position and claiming the topic with Benelux media and influencers through creative storytelling in the form of sleep-related research, creative PR campaigns and events. We started with a partnership with Stubruand turned the morning radio program ‘Siskastaatop’ into ‘Siskaslaaptuit’. We conducted research about couples sleeping apart together and organized the ibis sleep academy and the ibis breakfast club events.


ibis, the new authority in sleep

All of the initiatives surpassed our expectations and received a huge amount of quality coverage. They also generated broad engagement with style influencers and bloggers who have the eyes and ears of our target audience. By making ibis the ‘go-to’ brand for these lifestyle decision makers, we were able to meet the challenge of attracting a new market segment while keeping traditional customers happy.