How the Four Seasons turned a viral moment into a brand story

Being ready for when lightning strikes.

Turning a viral moment into a marketing coup

Kennyatta Collins is a freelance brand strategist. Follow him on LinkedIn.

With over 69 million views, 1-year-old Kate Wise’s “ME!” went viral on TikTok as she was asked who wanted to go to the Four Seasons Orlando — a simple but captivating endorsement of the Four Seasons. Twenty-four hours later, the luxury hospitality brand was already engaged in a comprehensive strategy to capitalize on the buzz and turn the viral moment into an opportunity that reinforced the brand’s values to a new audience.

“We’ve been ready and waiting for this moment!” Sarah Tuite, senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations at Four Seasons, tells PR Daily. In a stitched TikTok response, the Orlando property welcomed the Wise family to a new adventure and teased baby Kate as the brand’s latest ambassador. The response went viral, garnering over 5.5 million views and an overwhelming amount of support in the comments as viewers praised the company for celebrating the moment with the same excitement audiences found in the original video. 




“Our team is strategic and deliberate when determining what the right moment is to engage with content,” says Tuite. “We always ensure it aligns with our brand values to create intentional and purposeful responses. We felt that an initial response was necessary to acknowledge that as a brand, we were paying attention.”

@fourseasons #Stitch with @Stefanie O’Brien Let the adventure begin @Stefanie O’Brien fam 🏰✨@FourSeasonsOrlando #LuxuryTravel #FamilyTravel #LoveFourSeasons ♬ original sound – Four Seasons Hotels

The initial response also gave the Four Seasons team time to create a larger storytelling moment. Promptly, the family was invited back as special guests of the resort with VIP treatment, including a complimentary stay in the presidential suite.

“Once we connected with Stefanie, Will, and Bailey to understand their comfort level and enthusiasm, we were thrilled to find they wanted to have as much fun as we did!” Tuite said.

The team collaborated with the family on a TikTok video of their experiences, giving the audience the happy ending they hoped for. Positive sentiments came flooding in as 7.5 million people viewed the post and thousands shared their excitement for the family. The gesture capitalized on the viral fame and strengthened consumer perceptions of the resort as a family-friendly destination, with some commenters mentioning, “With a trip like this, I too want to go to the Four Seasons Orlando.”

Viral moments are unpredictable and demand agility from modern PR strategies to harness the value of embracing and amplifying user-generated content. While the initial video from the Wise family brought increased awareness to the Four Seasons Orlando, the company’s response to the video led to increased engagement and follower growth across channels.

@fourseasons Fully conscious and utterly fabulous at Four Seasons Orlando. 👑 #LoveFourSeasons #LuxuryTravel #FamilyTravel #FourSeasonsOrlando #FullyConsciousBaby ♬ MILLION DOLLAR BABY (VHS) – Tommy Richman

“At a high level, our success can be measured in two ways: the speed and collaboration at which our teams have come together to react in a thoughtful way and from a brand perspective, the share of voice for Four Seasons growing immensely in a short period — with an overwhelmingly positive narrative,” says Tuite. “These last two weeks are a blueprint for how we can react to social media content at the same speed moments in culture occur.”

The Four Seasons’ approach to the viral video echoes the brand’s definition of a luxury experience — being personally recognized as a special guest and welcomed like a friend. Proactively preparing its team to work cohesively across touchpoints proved pivotal to engaging with the Wise family video. “We’ve cultivated a culture of agility and an attitude of responsiveness, and an all-hands-on-deck approach,” says Tuite, “ensuring we have the support required to deliver timely and thoughtful responses that speak to our audiences in our brand voice and create a sense of community.” 

Having a clear communication sequence and working in unison across teams broadens the scope of appropriate responses to viral moments. Choosing to lean into the viral sensation in phases, incorporating the family, and using the experience to tell a larger brand story helped the Four Seasons to see an increase in engagement and follower growth across brand pages — “The response from audiences validated that we made the right decision.”


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