Red Roof Inn Creates Its Own Reality

DALLAS Red Roof Inn and its agency The Richards Group will launch an ad campaign on April 4 using five 15-second spots designed to mimic reality TV shows, the agency said.

The campaign runs through November in targeted markets via ESPN, Fox News and Fox Sports regional networks. Red Roof Inn, part of the Carrollton, Texas-based Accor North America group that includes Motel 6, is in the second year of a $200 million renovation of its properties.

One of the unscripted spots, “Renovation,” features a guest staying in a renovated Red Roof Inn room. He is shown lying on the bed, primping in front of the mirror and playing a video game while talking on the phone.

John Feist, the original producer of CBS’s Survivor and NBC’s The Restaurant reality TV series, produced the spots. Townsend Coleman, who for the past 10 years has been the voiceover of promos for NBC’s “Must See TV” and The Tonight Show, narrated the TV spots.

“We saw an opportunity to use the reality TV format to create a new kind of advertising for Red Roof Inn, one that had never been done in the hotel category before,” said Mike Malone, creative group head at Richards. “We set out to use real people’s experiences at Red Roof Inn.”

Campaign spending is undisclosed. Red Roof Inn spent $10 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Dallas-based Richards is one of the nation’s largest independent agencies with more than $1 billion in annual billings.