Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) remove IHG from the equation by providing a one-stop shop for booking, which hurts sales and takes away the ability to sell an experience that is more customized and profitable.
Your Rate, a brand-led, member-only price guarantee that the lowest available rates can be found exclusively by booking through IHG.com.
It was a grueling 2 months.
Between going toe-to-toe with agencies like Ogilvy & Mather and Interbrand, round after round of grueling review, and countless changes coming from left and right, I was beat. The creative was the easy part, but the translations were what killed us; without the intimate knowledge of our sites that my team possesses, their solutions to our problems didn’t account for correct sizing, navigation, and so on. But I managed; I took the deck we were given and turned it into over 250 assets in 4 different languages in the span of one week. It took of doing, and here's just a small taste of how we got it done:
Pitted up against two power-house agencies, it was up to me to represent my internal design organization (IHG Digital Design) in a bid to create a logo to encapsulate IHG's book direct program. Drafting a proposal for such an endeavor from within the organization itself was both beneficial and detrimental at the same time; having input from several of our marketing team members helped our presentation to be a pointed one with the business in mind, but would ultimately hamper our potential to compete with a more creative vision of an agency not hampered by internal expectations.
Through several iterations, our solution was a sort of badge. By collecting together the important elements (rewards club logo, descriptive promise) these badges were build to span multiple viewports and encapsulate the spirit as well as the value of the proposition. However, between version one and version 7 the flavor was diluted by the ridiculous level of input I was receiving. The image above shows the last version of the badge with soul, before the heavy-handed neutering came to pass.
Ultimately, our solution, up against the wholistic experience as presented by the other agencies, simply couldn't hold up.
However, the ambitious work selected to represent the book direct channels was anchored down by one significant caveat; it didn't take into consideration any existing IHG design systems in any capacity. Take, for example, the accompanying image; the (proposed) hero here removed all required hero space text/CTAs while simultaneously managing to propose changes to all of IHGs navigation. And so it fell on me to translate the work which Interbrand did into hundreds of assets in a very short timeframe; 10 days, to be precise.
That was just round 1. I would go on to work on the next three iterations of creative for Your Rate, creating a total of over 1200 individual assets over the period of a year. Just thinking back now to that time makes me break out in a sweat.