Point of Difference: Niyama Maldives, Per Aquum Resorts

Nathalie Salas Nathalie Salas Uploaded

I've been entertaining myself recently looking at how hotels use video as a promotional tool to sell their hotel experience to potential guests. I was amazed that the ones that caught my attention were few and far between.  Even hotels that had a great facility and reputation were able to turn me off with their terrible video presentation.

So how can hotels avoid the massive pitfall of emotional disconnect? One of the key secrets to make a promotional film successful is to understand the concept of story telling. With boutique hotels so unique and personal, there are many interesting story lines that can be create. But knowing how to translate that storyline into an emotionally connected visual experience can be more challenging than one thinks.

This month, we talk to Get Müllered & Dance, a creative duo specialising in film, animation and installations, about their take on creating powerful and effective videos for boutique hotels. Their most recent work in the hospitality field was to create a low budget animation film for Niyama, a luxury per Aquum Resort in the Maldives.

Jessica Dance (set designer and prop maker) and Robert Francis Müller (director and animator), bring together knowledge of their areas of expertise, using a combination of conceptual thinking, story telling and craftsmanship.

How did you get to work for Per Aquum?
We were commissioned by Per Aquum to create the Niyama animation after having got to know them through Jessica's success in winning the Creative Marketing Award at Graduate Fashion Week, an award sponsored by Per Aquum.

What brief were you given?
The brief was relatively open, although the main requirement was to replicate  the resort in paper form.  At the time of starting to work on the paper set build, the resort was also under development, which meant we didn't have any reference pictures to work from, just a map of the island.

How did you come up with the story line?
We proposed the idea of having a couple arrive at the island and be taken on a tour of the resort, making them the central characters of the film.  It was important to be able to capture what the guests would experience in reality at Niyama.

What is your opinion on using film as a way to sell a hotel experience?  What do you think consumers are looking for now?
If there are two resorts offering an equal level of service at the same price in a similar location, having an engaging, well-executed creative film can connect with potential guests and excite them, or entice them to want to stay. As potential guests ourselves, we would always look for places to stay that have gone the extra mile in their communications, as it (hopefully) implies they go the extra mile in providing an exceptional hotel experience during our stay also. If approached in the right way, film or animation can do much more than a glossy brochure ever could.

What would be your three key pieces of advice for boutique hotel interested in starting a film project?
Tip 1:  This tip is a relatively simple one and one that is most likely already employed by many boutique hotels. It would be to make sure your target audience is clearly defined from the outset and that the over-arching key message that you want to communicate is agreed before any time is spent on coming up with ideas of what the film or animation should be. If those two things are in place from the beginning, the journey from the concept to the finished piece will be a much easier process.

Tip 2: Think about where the finished piece will be seen. It's best to include it in a blog or website that has a large number of your target audience already following it. Just putting it up on YouTube and on your website won't necessarily generate an interest. A bit of time needs to be taken to ensure the right people see it.

Tip 3: Put yourself in the shoes of the audience and think about the things that you like when watching a film. What are the things that keep you watching until the end, what are the things that make you laugh or want to tell your friends about? The film doesn't necessarily need to be something that is selling your hotel, it can be about anything really that communicates your values or connects with your potential customers in some way or another.

Niyama - A Paper Island from Robert Francis Müller on Vimeo.

Making Of Niyama - A Paper Island from Robert Francis Müller on Vimeo.

www.getmulleredanddance.co.uk | www.niyama.peraquum.com


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