As hotel brands struggle to manage an influx of influencers, Mandarin Oriental is going back to basics: movie stars. The brand is rejuvenating its decade-old Fan Campaign, adding actors Dev Patel and Christoph Waltz to the roster of celebrity “Fans” promoting Mandarin Oriental across digital advertising and social platforms. But has the Hollywood strategy evolved for the digital age?
Mandarin Oriental often promotes movie stars with limited social media followers, instead of those with digital reach who can amplify brand messaging to new audiences, according to Gartner L2’s recent report. Here’s a look at the four stars who rose to the top and what they offer the brand:
Biggest Star / Biggest Risk: Morgan Freeman
The American actor is the biggest name on the hotel chain’s roster with 18 million Facebook followers, nearly triple the following of all other Fans combined. Harnessing star power for brands can help with visibility, but recent allegations of sexual harassment make clear that brands should be wary of scandals that can damage them by association.
Most Mentions / Zero Followers: Dev Patel
The English actor was mentioned 19 times in Mandarin Oriental posts, twice as much as Freeman. These posts mostly revolve around the announcement that he joined the Fan Campaign. While it’s smart to add some new blood to the group (Patel is the youngest Fan at age 28; the average Fan age is 59), he has no social media presence, limiting the campaign’s effectiveness.
Leading Lady / Digital All-Star: Lucy Liu
Social media’s shining star, Instagram, is dominated by female Fans: 65% have accounts, versus only 14% of male Fans. American actress Lucy Liu takes the top spot with 500,000 followers, beating out actresses Lin Chi-ling and Dame Helen Mirren. Liu is the biggest star after Freeman and has more digital savvy, with two million fans across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Outsider / Rookie of the Year: Adam Scott
The Australian golfer is the jock who joined Drama Club, as he’s the only Fan not in the arts. Boasting 230,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram, he can expose Mandarin Oriental to new audiences. Scott mentioned the hotel in his posts about the 2018 US Open golf tournament, unlike other celebrities who often fail to promote the brand.