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The Plaza triggers foot traffic with “The Great Gatsby” Instagram contest

April 12, 2013


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ The Plaza, New York, is boosting foot traffic with an Instagram contest centered on the new film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

To enter The Great Gatsby Getaway Contest, Instagram users must take an image of themselves in front of The Plaza or an image that evokes the 1920s and tag it with the hashtag #ThePlazaPremiere. The hotel encouraged consumers to submit images through its social media channels.

"As F. Scott Fitzgerald was a devoted patron of The Plaza and set the climactic confrontation in The Great Gatsby in a suite at the hotel, we thought this contest would be the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming movie release with fans of the hotel and Fitzgerald alike," said Cynthia Scherer, director of sales and marketing at The Plaza , New York.

"This contest allows us to celebrate and share The Plaza's rich literary history, and allows one of our social media followers to experience The Plaza and attend a once-in-a-lifetime movie premiere," she said.

Snap to win

The contest was first announced through an image on The Plaza’s Instagram account April 10. Consumers can enter up until April 24.

Instagram image

In addition, The Plaza posted about the contest through its Facebook page and provided a link to the Instagram image.

Facebook post

The contest is also being promoted through the hotel’s Twitter account with the hashtags #TheGreatGatsby and #ThePlazaPremiere.


The image includes instructions on how to enter the contest and what the winner will receive.

One winner will be chosen and will get two tickets to the premiere screening of the movie May 10, a night at The Plaza and more. The winner will be notified through Instagram and email.

There were 151 images tagged on Instagram using the contest hashtag as of April 11. The images currently posted contain a mixture of ‘20s-themed images and those of people at The Plaza.

Tagged images

The Plaza seems to be looking to engage both tourists and locals in its history.

"The Plaza seems to be targeting both locals and tourists who enjoy being creative with applications like Instagram and are fans of The Great Gatsby's glamour and style," said Tiffany Dowd, luxury hotel inspector and president of Luxe Social Media, Boston.

"It is a great visual and viral social media marketing idea," she said.

"This type of contest may increase The Plaza's following on the hotel's Instagram page, but whether it increases actual foot traffic remains to be seen."

Recreating an era

This contest is another one of the many efforts that The Plaza is doing to promote its history and role in the upcoming movie. The Plaza will likely benefit from this since the hotel property has been featured in a number of movies and has become an icon.

"For the many fans who either live in New York or are visiting, here is the chance to snap their picture while enjoying being in and around the hotel to be a part of this contest," said D.M. Banks, director at DMB Public Relations, New York.

"Not only the tech-savvy and young affluent travelers, but also other travelers of all ages and incomes can gain access to the world of properties such as The Plaza through these contests," he said.

"The Plaza has always had such a broad demographic with all of the history it possesses, from films such as Home Alone and Eloise to being the focus for numerous other films and television shows over the years."

The hotel is celebrating the movie’s opening  by integrating speakeasy themes into its lounges and restaurants, having the costumes and props from the movie on display, selling themed gift items and creating a new suite dedicated to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

The hotel’s Champagne bar is being transformed into a Moët Pop-Up Bar, which will offer a special cocktail made exclusively for The Plaza called the Moët Imperial Gatsby.

There will also be a Moët & Chandon Champagne Cart to emulate the experience of Mr. Gatsby’s infamous parties.

The Rose Club will offer “Gatsby Hour” on Wednesday and Thursday evenings with a live jazz band and a prohibition-inspired speakeasy menu that will offer Grand Marnier, 10 Cane Rum, Hennessy, Glenmorangie and Belvedere.

Also, the Todd English Food Hall will offer various ‘20s-themed cocktails and food in a “Brunch Like Gatsby” weekend menu (see story).

The hotel’s themed activities serve as a way to encourage consumers to celebrate the movie with the The Plaza.

Since the contests asks Instagram users to take images at The Plaza, this may help bring more foot traffic to other Great Gatsby-themed offerings.

"Like The Plaza, The Great Gatsby also attracts fans from a very broad demographic, and with The Plaza's established position in history books, the intrigue surrounding the original story and today's cast of The Great Gatsby movie, this makes for a winning combination," Mr. Banks said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York