Campaign overview

Hostelworld hired us across the globe to help transform consumers’ negative perceptions of hostels and persuade a wider audience to consider staying in them. To support this mission, the brand’s big ad campaign for 2018 saw Hostelworld join forces with Mariah Carey to show that “even divas can be (hostel) believers”, and the bar was set high for Hotwire: make Mariah go viral.

What we did

Working with an A-list star doesn’t guarantee coverage; we needed to convince the world’s media that this ad was a must-watch. We made the identity of our celebrity frontwoman a mystery guessing game for our top-tier media to solve.


We then secured an exclusive opportunity with Mail Online and once their exclusive broke, we shared the secret news with the rest of the world, resulting in more than 1,700 pieces of coverage globally, with over 100 pieces in Hostelworld’s top tier titles such as VICE, People, Cosmopolitan, Perez Hilton, Elle and All our coverage was on-message and helped to drive a 62% increase in Hostelworld blog traffic. 89% included the full advert, which helped achieve more than 13million views of the video. But did we go viral? According to AdAge, we sure did, with the ad entering its official viral video charts at No 5, calling out the press coverage we generated to help it land there.

"The coverage for this campaign is amazing – Good Morning Britain was my highlight as it was the first time we secured broadcast in the UK. Putting Mariah in a hostel was a long time in the making, but the results speak for themselves – so happy with everything Hotwire did to make this shine! "
Alice Ackermann, Global PR & Comms manager, Hostelworld