citizenM idolises the modern traveller to celebrate its Roman opening

New campaign by KesselsKramer London brings the modern face to the ancient city, with a campaign featuring 3D marble renders of modern Romans.

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Think of Rome and the mind goes straight to the coliseum, the pantheon, maybe Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn viewing the Spanish steps via Vespa. In a city steeped with so much history, citizenM wanted a way to introduce their newest opening to their audience of modern travellers whilst nodding to the ancient monuments that surround it.

The campaign opened with teasers on social media, culminating in an out of home campaign in key Italian cities and a 5 story building exhibition, which turned the new hotel into a billboard. 

KesselsKramer worked closely with citizenM to bring this juxtaposition of old and new worlds to life. From snoring, reclining statues pointing out the new location, to a series of carefully rendered marble-effect 3D busts of local characters (featuring chefs and drag queens) that came to life across DOOH partnered with announcements of the new hotel in the brand’s signature tone of voice, the ancient world is given a new lease of life and laughter throughout the campaign.

Hannah Carlile, art director at KesselsKramer London says’ I think it was important to take the traditional marble bust and interpret it in a new, modern context. This is why we merged the crumbling statues with contemporary accessories like headphones and hair towel wraps, and made the renders spin in 360. Neighbour then did an amazing job of scanning, then literally petrifying our local citizens and creating new ones from wireframes to turn our idea into a reality. It’s been amazing to see the process and the large format windows are the ideal showcase for the work.’

Dave Bell, creative director, adds: “To launch citizenM hotels in new cities, since it’s an artful hotel brand, we always create a window exhibition rather than traditional marketing. This is the latest in a long line of exhibitions of ‘citizens’ from the local community. We’ve created variants for London, Seattle, LA, Zurich, Boston and many more, resulting in over 300 portraits. This is the first time we’ve used digital renders to create the portraits and marks a big change in the series.”  

The exhibition will run on the building and in out-of-home across Italy and social until November 27th, and the new hotel opens in Rome on December 3rd.



citizenM was launched in 2008 with a purpose – to disrupt the traditional hotel industry and create a hotel for the modern travellers, giving them everything they need and nothing they don’t. citizenM founder, Rattan Chadha called this philosophy ‘affordable luxury for the people’. Today, citizenM’s portfolio includes 31 hotels in 18 cities, across 3 continents. This is citizenM’s first hotel in Italy.


KesselsKramer was founded in Amsterdam in 1996 with a goal to create radically honest work for their clients. Their London offshoot was founded 12 years later as KK Outlet, since then, the team of creatives has expanded to 16, now known as KesselsKramer London. KesselsKramer helps people, brands and o


Client: citizenM Hotels - 

Chief Brand Officer: Robin Chadha 

Head of Design: Joe Crowther

Senior Marketing Manager: Molly Andrews

Brand Marketing Manager: Jaimee Hulsmeyer 

Marketing Coordinator: Kiara Mclaughlan  

Agency: KesselsKramer London -

Creative Director: Dave Bell

Art Director: Hannah Carlile

Writer: Charlie Bowden

Project Manager: Jess Gasparetto

Production: Neighbour 

Business Director: Kelly Luders

Account Director: Sophie Metchick

Account Manager: Carl Bradbury 

Design Director: Juan Murphy (One More Poly)

3D Designers: Matt Le Quesne and Dave Longworth


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