Best Western to Aim For ‘Main Street’

Suissa Miller will work to make Best Western International’s longtime positioning as “The world’s largest hotel chain” more meaningful to the everyday traveler in a campaign this spring, client CEO and president Tom Higgins said.

“Now that we have brought our brand awareness to a new high, we need to create a compelling message that answers the question: ‘What does that mean to me, as a Best Western guest?’ ” Higgins said.

Suissa Miller in Los Angeles, which is set to be merged into fellow Interpublic Group agency Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., has won the Phoenix-based hotelier’s $30 million account, the client confirmed last week.

Best Western, which has 4,100 hotels in 80 countries, previously worked with Davis Media/Chess Communications in Baltimore. Recent ads touted the chain as a global brand and showed oversized people resting on large pillows next to landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. A voiceover intoned, “Just about anywhere you go, you’ll find a Best Western.” The visual icon has been a globe settling onto a pillow.

“It’s a Wall Street type of idea,” Suissa Miller chairman David Suissa said of the previous positioning. “We want to inject some Main Street into it and give it a more human touch.”

Suissa Miller’s selection had been expected [Adweek Online, Oct. 15]. The other finalists were two West Coast independents: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif., and R&R Partners in Las Vegas. IPG’s Media Partnership in Los Angeles was tapped for media planning and buying; online advertising duties went to WPP Group’s The Digital Edge.

Davis Media/Chess Communications has filed a lawsuit against Best Western, claiming breach of contract. Best Western representative Carolyn Marion declined comment.