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Single millennials find Christmas a little ‘extra’. At least that’s what Hotels.com discovered.

For those who don’t speak 20-something slang, this means that the pressures of Christmas can be too much to bear, with the inevitable enquiry into their (lack of) relationship combined with the usual family feuds.  

Hotels.com offered millennials an escape with 50% off hotels starting on the 26th December, so when the fun is over they can enjoy some alone time.

Its campaign promoting this offer presents an antidote to the traditional themes of ‘togetherness’ championed by many brands over the festive period.

Here’s why Xmas Escape by Hotels.com is our December campaign of the month.

The insight

Hotels.com conducted global consumer research with over 7,000 millennials worldwide, across 20 countries to dig a little deeper into the funny conversations that happen within families over the holiday period.

They wanted to use research to support their hypothesis that poor, single millennials were the main victims of nagging and interrogation from their relatives over Christmas.

Through the research findings, they were able to show this insight to be true, identify the different adulting woes that millennials were quizzed about and look deeper into the differences between countries around the world, age groups and genders. 

The top frustrations at Christmas: 

1. Being judged for being single. 

2. Not ‘adulting’ properly. 

3. Stress of preparing the Christmas meal.

4. Unpopular Christmas presents.

5. Falling out over board games.

6. Political views.

7. Being hungover at Christmas.

8. Not helping around the house enough.

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9. Looking after children.

10. What to watch on the TV.

More than a quarter of British millennials (26%) said their single status was one of the top criticisms from family members, whilst not saving enough money (25%) and poor job choice (25%) followed closely behind.  

Because of this, millennials say they’re ready to escape by 14.01pm on Christmas Day.

The message 

The message is a simple one: if Christmas gets too much, then Hotels.com has the solution. 

Source: Hotels.com

By offering a significant discount, the company wanted to lend millennials, who we know have limited expendable income, a hand. 

“This holiday season, Hotels.com doesn’t want you to drop major funds on a much-deserved seasonal escape,” said Adam Jay, President of Hotels.com. 

“We’re here to give the gift of ‘me time’ with our #XmasEscape Rates allowing all those out there who are #SingleAF to have the selfish and bright celebration of their dreams.”

Emma Tagg, Senior Global Brand Communications Manager at Hotels.com brand told us:

“The Hotels.com Christmas Escape campaign was a great opportunity for us to showcase our cheeky and irreverent brand personality, while at the same time shining a light on a real festive truth.

All millennials can relate to that moment where they have been home for Christmas for 10 minutes and Mum wants to know when you’re buying a house or Aunt Karen starts interrogating you about why you haven’t got a significant other.

Research allowed us to identify the exact time millennials wanted to escape family Christmas and enabled us to uncover the main reasons people wanted to escape family drama over the festive period.”

Why it worked

There are two key reasons why this campaign has received such a strong response since its release: 

The first is its bespoke and granular research into millennial attitudes – specifically single millennials – towards an event. 

It revealed information about the psyche that lent itself perfectly towards a story that swathes of the population can relate to. The images and copy translate the humor of the message, exaggerating the contrast between the misery of forced family time, and the relief of alone time.

The second element that led to its success is its tone. 

By choosing a different tack to most brands at this time of year, the campaign strikes a refreshing discord to the tired themes surrounding the holiday season.

Also, by integrating appealing humour, it provides the entertainment value millennials expect from branded content.

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