Holiday Inn Hotels Begins Multi-million-dollar Marketing Campaign

March 20, 2008

 Holiday Inn Hotels Begins Multi-million-dollar Marketing Campaign
that Asks Guests to “Look Again” at the Brand
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Campaign Targets Generation X and Baby Boomers

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ATLANTA, June 7, 2006 – Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, the world’s most recognized hotel brand, announces a comprehensive multi-million-dollar integrated marketing campaign that asks guests to “Look Again” at the brand.Through independent research conducted by strategic brand consultancy Landis Global Market Research, Holiday Inn found that the four features most important to business travelers are

  1. free High Speed Internet,
  2. comfortable in- room work spaces,
  3. full-service meeting facilities
  4. and a robust loyalty program.

Holiday Inn offers each of these core business amenities; however, research revealed most business travelers more closely associate Holiday Inn with its heritage as a family leisure hotel and amenities like the hotel pool. The Look Again campaign aims to round-out consumer perceptions of the brand so they view it as a first option for business travel as well as leisure.”The campaign reinforces the strengths of today’s Holiday Inn and prompts guests to ‘Look Again’ to see how the iconic brand they think they know has continued to evolve to meet their needs,” said Mark Snyder, senior vice president of Brand Management for Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts in the Americas. “The emphasis on elements like free high-speed Internet access or comfortable, modern in-room workspaces, for example, may seem fundamental on the surface, but for a brand with a legacy and character like Holiday Inn, they are more meaningful,” he added. “Holiday Inn has a history of leading the industry in innovation, and we want to make sure we take this opportunity to shout it from the rooftops — something we typically have not done.”

The primary target of the campaign is what the brand defines as the “modern everyday hero,” a blended attitudinal segment that spans Generation X and Baby Boomers. With an existing 100 percent brand awareness, virtually everyone in the target segment has stayed at a Holiday Inn, yet the Landis research revealed these consumers may perceive Holiday Inn exclusively as a family leisure hotel and Holiday Inn’s full-service business amenities may not be top-of-mind.

The “Look Again” campaign includes, in part, traditional print and broadcast advertisements. The comprehensive campaign also includes interactive online and engagement marketing elements, which have been proven to be successful in reaching the highly coveted Gen-X market.

Broadcast Advertising

In its first sustaining broadcast advertising campaign since 2002, Holiday Inn takes a humorous look at life on the road for today’s business travelers. The commercials from Fallon Minneapolis highlight the brand’s key business travel amenities and services, like free high-speed Internet access and Priority Club Rewards, through the eyes of three typical American coworkers at varying levels of experience: Ted, Marcus and Zack, collectively referred to as “The Business Guys.”

The ads chronicle the antics and interactions of the three coworkers in everyday business travel circumstances. In one ad, the two older “Business Guys,” Ted and Marcus, are in the hot tub when Zack enters, sits too close and breaks the understood rule of proper spacing in “hot tub etiquette.” In another, Ted and Marcus chide Zack for his lack of Priority Club Rewards points and flaunt the eccentric purchases they have made using points, such as a unicycle and gold golf clubs.

“We can all relate to these guys. They are the consummate road warriors who have developed a unique relationship from spending so much time together while traveling on business,” said Roger Camp, group creative director for Fallon Minneapolis. “And while the examples we use are funny, odd and twisted, what makes it endearing is that it’s all strangely relatable at the core. Let’s face it — we all have those business travel ‘war stories,’ and what better brand to celebrate these moments than Holiday Inn?”

The stars of the commercials were recruited from comedy troupes like the acclaimed Groundlings for their ability to improvise and enhance the loosely- scripted commercials. For the two Major League Baseball-themed spots, however, Holiday Inn looks to the sports arena for inspiration and features Emmy Award winning MLB play-by-play announcer Joe Buck interacting with the Business Guys as they do their best to mimic his legendary voice.

“The highly targeted, high frequency media rotation will allow consumers to get to know the personalities and nuances of our three “Business Guys” in a way that can only add to the level of humor,” added Camp. “We’ve created a platform with this campaign to showcase that Holiday Inn is the smart choice for business travel through the characters’ fun, humorous interactions.”

The suite of eight, 30-second broadcast spots will debut nationwide June 10 and will air during Major League Baseball and NASCAR coverage on ESPN, ESPN 2, FOX, FX and TNT through November 15, complementing the brand’s engagement marketing partnerships.
Interactive Marketing

The new Web sitelet that supports the campaign, http://www.holidayinn.com/lookagain, provides visitors an opportunity to interact with “The Business Guys” and take a somewhat voyeuristic view of their lives and experiences at Holiday Inn.

The Web site turns the traditional online hotel room tour on its head by enabling visitors to explore the hotel through the eyes of Zack as he produces his own version of a celebrity home tour. He highlights the amenities and services at Holiday Inn, bragging as if they were created just for him. On the tour, visitors can view his “personal hot tub” and his guest room “where the magic happens.”

To keep guests engaged, the site will continue to evolve and provide more interactive experiences for visitors on subsequent visits. For example, playing off the broadcast commercial, the site will include an interactive “Hot Tub Etiquette” game where visitors maneuver the characters to ensure they maintain appropriate distances from each other.

Engagement Marketing

The recently announced NASCAR Busch Series and Major League Baseball sponsorships take the “Look Again” campaign directly into the lives of consumers. These partnerships are examples of Holiday Inn’s engagement marketing strategy designed to build consumer advocates and ensure the legacy brand remains relevant to future generations of guests.

By becoming the “Official Hotel of Major League Baseball,” Holiday Inn plans to reach consumers through print and broadcast ads, as well as unique in-stadium promotions such as “Look Again” instant replays and branded Holiday Inn “‘Look Again’ Towel Days.” The sponsorship will be brought to life through a robust activation using interactive elements like the Priority Club Rewards online auction. The auction, which debuted May 26, offers visitors the chance to bid on unique memorabilia, travel and MLB experiences. Auction items range from MLB Authentic Collection jerseys to tickets to post-season games and the MLB(TM) All-Star Game, including four on-field VIP passes to watch batting practice. Auction items will be updated monthly to ensure ongoing interest.

The newly branded “Look Again” No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet with driver Jeff Burton and Richard Childress Racing taps into the loyal and growing base of 75 million NASCAR fans. Burton drives in 10 Busch Series races this year, and the show car tours the country to provide race fans an up-close-and- personal Holiday Inn Racing experience.

About Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands with global headquarters in the U.K. and Americas headquarters in Atlanta. With more than 1,400 properties worldwide and nearly 1,000 in the U.S., Holiday Inn is the most recognized lodging brand in the world and certainly the most iconic.

   
   

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Contact:InterContinental Hotels Group

http://www.holidayinn.com/lookagain

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