Fallon Takes a Fresh Look at Holiday Inn

CHICAGO Holiday Inn uses offbeat, improvised humor to sell its amenities to business travelers in the company’s first extended television campaign from Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in four years.

Eight new television spots, which broke over the weekend, show three co-workers doing their jobs in various hotel settings while offering slice-of-life conversations. In one spot, two of the men are relaxing in a hot tub when a third sits too close for comfort. Other spots show the men working in their rooms, making presentations in their conference rooms and talking about the points earned through the company’s reward program.

“We can all relate to these guys,” said Roger Camp, creative director at the Minneapolis agency, in a statement. “They are the consummate road warriors who have developed a unique relationship from spending so much time together while traveling on business.”

The campaign also introduces a new tagline, “Look again,” as the hotel chain actively targets business travelers, who may not be aware of all that Holiday Inns have to offer.

“We have a brand that’s been around for 54 years and people know it as a family hotel,” said Murray Hardie, group planning director at Fallon. “The problem with that is that they don’t think it has the business amenities and might be a bit out of date.”

An interactive component, created by Digitas in Boston, moves the characters to the Internet, where one of them shows off the hotel like it was a celebrity home tour. He refers to his room as the place “where the magic happens.” The site will also include games like “Hot Tub Etiquette,” where users maneuver characters to ensure they maintain appropriate distances.

Though Holiday Inn has aired spot TV commercials over the past few years, this is the first sustained campaign for the Atlanta company since the end of the “Mark” series in 2002, according to Mark Snyder, senior vice president of brand management at the company.

“They were very focused on the leisure travel market,” Snyder said. “We’ve caught up with a lot of things business travelers are looking for.”

The new campaign will air through November during National League Baseball and Nascar programming on ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, FX and TNT.

Holiday Inn is expected to spend “north of $20 million” on media for the campaign, including a sponsorship with Major League Baseball, Snyder said. The company spent just under $30 million on advertising in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.