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Hostelworld is the world’s number 1 booking engine for hostels. But the rise of Air BnBs and lots of cheap hotel deals available, was making things tough.

To appeal to today’s open-minded travellers, we focused on the fact that hostels are the most social way to travel. When staying in a hostel you can meet and mingle with other backpackers with similar mindsets. We created a complete brand repositioning and logo redesign around the idea “Meet the World”. 


Our next challenge was overcoming outdated perceptions of the accommodation. We created a series of online films starring some very unexpected guests. They showcased the quality of hostels these days – without being a boring brochure.

The campaign earned over 5 billion media impressions across 23 markets and boosted bookings by 18% yoy. The films were viewed over 65M times and generated over 2M social engagements. 69% of young people who’d seen the content said they would be more likely to stay at a hostel as a result.

So who were these guests? World renowned A-list diva, Mariah Carey was perhaps the most unexpected of them all..

And legendary 50 Cent came to stay. He was famously on the brink of bankruptcy at the time making his role even more relevant.

Charlie Sheen checked in too. Much like hostels, people had out-dated perceptions of him. So we played on the parallels with a series of short click bait-style videos. #winning

And we threw in a cult favourite for good measure. Alan Partridge had the idea of “Youth hostelling with Chris Eubank” 20 years ago. So when we spotted this becoming a social media meme all over again, we decided to make the show for real. Well, kind of.


The Meet the World platform led to much more than communications. It became a brand promise and informed brand behaviour from the day it launched.

Our favourite looked to help overcome the language barrier for travellers. We worked with Google to add a feature to the Hostelworld app called ‘Speak the world’. Users held their phone up to their face and their speech was translated into the language of the person they were talking to.