Red Carnation Hotels

What was the brief?

Red Carnation Hotels wanted to increase brand awareness and bookings for seven Red Carnation Hotels, targeting prospects in the USA and the UK. 

Their specific goals was to achieve a CPA target of £50-£75 across the seven hotels. They also wanted to test the effectiveness of user generated content (UGC) creative (which had worked well in the social space) in display versus professional creative. 

What did we do?

We targeted affluent travellers who both had the budget to afford a stay at a high-end hotel in London, and were exhibiting a clear desire to do so.

We used look-alike targeting, contextual targeting, keyword targeting around London premium hotels, travel and holiday, third party segments and proprietary data (travel, home finance, up market, executive wealth, lavish lifestyles).

We treated the budget as fluid. Our starting point was a 75% USA and 25% UK split, and we varied strategies to optimise to minimise CPA and maximise booking value.

We randomly tested UGC against professional photography within the standard formats and variations of MPU, leaderboard, wide skyscraper, mobile 320×50.

We also used live pricing and actual ratings together with dynamic creative optimisation.

What were the results?

We built positively on the previous results we had achieved in both the UK and in the USA in this campaign, which enabled us to deliver a total revenue of £292,507, an overall ROI of 18.28 and a CPA £66.95.

more revenue
of revenue

Our combined USA and UK ROI was higher than any other paid advertising activity during that time period, and our programmatic campaign generated 22 times more revenue than any other type of top of funnel online advertising.

What did we learn?

Top performing contextual categories:

  • Entertainment
  • Travel

Top performing domain list related to travel:


Top performing domain lists based on news content:


The creative test was inconclusive. Overall professional imagery out performed user generated content, but not by a consistent margin.

What was the client’s reaction?

“Crimtan’s campaign far exceeded our expectations. It had a significant impact on both our brand awareness in key markets and in reaching our quarterly revenue goals. 

We combined UK and USA activity, and both performed well. The combined ROI was also higher than any other paid advertising activity during that same time period. And the revenue generated through programmatic was 22 times that of other types of top of funnel online advertising. 

As a result, we will definitely be running another campaign and we intend to make programmatic advertising a continuous part of our online advertising.”

Ruth Moran – Digital Marketing Manager

Download our full case study, including details of how we generated 22 times more revenue and what we learned from the campaign.

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