- Hotels.com is partnering with Jonathan Van Ness, one of the hosts of the Netflix series "Queer Eye," on a four-episode docuseries that will air on the brand’s YouTube channel, a news release announced.
- "Hotels.comedy Presents: 10 Nights with Jonathan Van Ness" chronicles his 10-night tour across the country. After each performance, cameras follow Van Ness to his hotel room to reflect on the performance and reveal the "good, the bad and the gorgeousness."
- In addition, Hotels.com rewarded fans with tickets to a special "Reward Night Premiere Party" at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on Nov. 5 that was hosted by Van Ness and featured a screening of the first episode of the series.
Hotels.com is striving to link up with the highly popular Netflix reboot of "Queer Eye" by teaming up with Van Ness, one of the show's most popular personalities, known for his grooming expertise, humor, positive persona and catchphrases. Van Ness, whom The Washington Post referred to as a "one-man meme machine," has a large social media following with nearly 3 million Instagram fans. The partnership will likely help Hotels.com build brand awareness with millennials, who make up a major part of the show's fan base.
Partnering with LGBTQ personalities, an often-overlooked consumer demographic, is a savvy move for marketers. Fifty-three percent of marketers devote 4% or less of their marketing campaigns to LGBTQ consumers, according to a study by INTO and Brand Innovators, yet more than one-third of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from brands that include LGBTQ themes and people in their marketing, with a brand's reputation for being LGBTQ-friendly or not influencing 70% of purchase decisions.
Docuseries and other types of video series are becoming more popular with brands seeking to offer consumers high-value content and build authentic connections with them. Hotels.com is hoping that giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at Van Ness' comedy tour and hotel stays will make that connection, and help it stay ahead among other travel sites, as it continues to face new competition. Hotels.com was the most-used travel site over the past 12 months, with 40% of consumers using the site, according to an Adthena study.
Van Ness is a go-to celebrity for recent campaigns. He also teamed up with Diageo vodka brand Smirnoff for its "Welcome to the Fun%" campaign and served a major role in promoting the brand's base vodka, Smirnoff No. 21, now being made with non-GMO grain. Van Ness attended a launch party for the new vodka, with gluten-free cocktails and food, "Instagrammable moments" and a pop-up corn maze.