Hampton Inn Courts College-Football Crowd

LOS ANGELES Interpublic Group’s Draftfcb is breaking a college-football-themed integrated campaign for Hampton Inn Hotels this weekend.

Lauren Watson, svp, group cd at the agency’s office in Chicago, said: “The creative strategy is to show that Hampton is a friend to college football — your friend in town. Alumni traveling to games and Gen Y are fun-loving targets. The friendly personality of the hotel matches college football fans; it’s a little more authentic and personable.”
Three 15-second spots feature an enthusiastic couple pretending to be sportscasters hosting the Hampton Weekend Wrap-Up, introduced with typical TV news-style supers and music cues. There’s plenty of lightweight banter between the pair. A third character wearing a Viking helmet also appears.

The tagline, “When you touch down at Hampton, you wake up a winner,” opens each spot.

Last season’s campaign (“Get in the bed zone”) was smaller scale, Watson said. This year’s work tries for a funnier tone in an effort to bridge the sensibilities of Gen X and Y. The younger crowd is “a target that likes edgier communications,” Watson said.

Bruce Hurwit of Crossroads directed the new spots, which are complemented by online and print iterations.
In 2008, the campaign will receive greater media emphasis than last year, though Watson declined to enumerate spending. In 2007, the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton brand spent $30 million on ads and $15 million through the first six months of 2008, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.