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Sense New York’s Aloft Hotels campaign wins Silver at the Ex Awards

Campaign of music events with emerging artists held in the Marriott Incubator brand's hotel spaces has been honoured for Best Stage Design.


A series of live concerts featuring emerging Universal Music Group artists organised by Sense New York for Aloft Hotels has been awarded Silver in the Best Stage Design category at the Event Marketer Ex Awards 2020. 

The seven-stop Aloft Hotels: Homecoming Tour featured live performances in the Marriott International incubator brand’s hotel spaces across the globe. The campaign was designed to reinvigorate Aloft’s music programming, which it has developed over a decade to connect with guests and support upcoming artists. The aim was to use innovative thinking to demonstrate Aloft’s dedication to music, technology and design.

Based on insight gleaned during previous tours, emerging artists were taken  back to their hometown to play intimate concerts, driving excitement, engagement and further solidifying the brand’s commitment to real music experiences.

“But this wasn’t any ordinary concert tour,” explained Sense New York Vice President Hayley James, “We decided to embrace the sea of mobile phones now present at gigs, partnering with renowned street artist INSA to create a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) ‘GIF-iti’ stage. As attendees viewed the shows through their phones, they’d see visuals inspired by each of the emerging artists taking part in the tour. The campaign brought amazing performances, innovative technology, devoted fans and stunning Aloft Hotel venues together to create truly memorable moments.”

Spanning the planet from Chicago to Dublin to Perth, each concert sold out in under 24 hours, receiving 8,500 total RSVPs and entertaining 1,000 attendees. The campaign generated 2.1 billion PR impressions and 3.8 million organic social media impressions, with Aloft proving that the modern hotel experience can be far more than just a place for guests to rest their heads.

“We are very proud and excited that the Live at Aloft Hotels: Homecoming Tour won Silver at the Ex Awards for Best Stage Design,” said Olivia Donnan, Director, Global Brand Marketing, Aloft Hotels and Moxy Hotels at Marriott International. “In partnership with the incredible team at Sense New York, we created an AR stage to surround our hometown bands and artists, giving purpose to the inevitable sea of phones that surrounds you now at a live gig. Designed and brought to life by INSA, each stage was inspired by its location. This is one of my favourite projects with the most creative and hard-working team possible.”