citizenM is a hotel chain that started in Amsterdam and spread to New York, London, Glasgow, Rotterdam and Paris. citizenM is for a new breed of international travelers- those who cross continents as easily as others cross the street. We call these travelers mobile citizens.

Where other hotels use advertising to show their endless range of services and facilities, citizenM consciously draws attention to everything the hotel doesn’t have. No bellboys, trouser press, minibar or other clichés we don’t need. In every city where a new citizenM opens, the hotel presents itself as a new breed of hotel. Without superfluities but with everything mobile citizens expects of their hotel: a comfortable bed, a fantastic rain shower and free WI-FI.

KesselsKramer worked on all aspects of the project, including brand identity, strategy and communications. Here, you see the launch campaigns for the hotel’s opening in New York, Paris and London.


citizenM introduced itself to the good people of New York – and mobile travelers everywhere – with a whole host of actions gently mocking all the usual clichés to be found in more traditional hotels. It also used other untraditional methods to welcome itself to the city, whilst celebrating its new home, and neighbours, at the same time. This approach took many forms.

Together with KK Outlet, we created a Facebook campaign designed to inject some much needed cool back into the area that has become a tourist trap by replacing the infamous tourist portrait artists of Time Square with some of New York’s finest instead. The good people of Facebook were asked to submit their profile pics, and 250 lucky winners got theirs redrawn by one of our much cooler, more contemporary artists: Mike Perry, Jon Burgerman, Julia Pott, Chris RKW, and Sheryo & The Yok. The winners could share and download their amazing new portrait, tag themselves and of course use it as their profile pic.


We also created outdoor and subway posters with messages like “citizenM says: to the city that never sleeps, we’re here to help”. Some cheeky messages also appeared in unexpected places on the streets of Manhattan, involving hot dog stalls, bellboys, and a stretch limo parked outside some of NYC’s snootiest hotels.

Announcements continued to take place in the virtual world, engaging with citizenM’s fans, friends and the newly acquainted via social media and YouTube. Personal letters were sent to celebrity local New Yorkers and posted online. We’re still waiting on replies. Woody Allen got an extra love letter, in the form of a film, an ode to his most famous movie. We’re pretty sure Mr Allen shared it on his Facebook page.


Lastly, to really put an end to hotel clichés, we worked with renowned Oscar nominated filmmaker PES, featuring a pair of loved up towel swans whose mating ritual is rudely and violently interrupted.


We know what real life airport travel looks and feels like—it’s the reason we’re changing the face of affordable luxury for global citizens. citizenM is exactly opposite of what you’d expect on your longest, hardest day of travel: delicious, hot food; stylish furniture; ambient lighting to set the mood and scrumptious XL king size beds with soft linens to lull you to sleep.

Some airports have slot machines and stale coffee, but definitely not power rain showers and free movies. So we flipped the coin—we asked people to show us the unpleasant side of being a mobile citizen by sharing their funniest airport fail using #NOTcitizenM on Instagram, Twitter and Vine. The best ones were featured on and people could win a two nights stay at citizenM Charles de Gaulle airport.