Sweet Dreams For Less

Gray, Kirk Radio, TV Raise Low-Rate Stays
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Gray, Kirk Vansant Advertising, headquartered in Baltimore, has created a pair of broadcast advertising campaigns for client Choice Hotels International, parent company of Econo Lodge and Quality Inn.
The thrust of each advertising effort is to separate these properties from the typical nightmare experiences travelers might have at discount lodging chains.
The budgets allocated for the two campaigns were not disclosed.
The Baltimore agency created five radio commercials that began airing July 13 for Econo Lodge. The spots feature the voice of character actor William Sanderson, best known for his television portrayal of Larry on Newhart.
The ads were written by agency executive vice president and creative director Jeff Millman.
In the radio spots–titled “Toothpaste,” “Tub Ring,” “Lights,” “Carpet Stain” and “Shoe”–Sanderson finds himself trapped in several of the lower circles of trash-motel hell. Everything that can possibly go wrong with his lodging experience does, and he gets no satisfaction from the front desk personnel.
The themeline for the five 30-second spots is: “Our rates are low, not our standards.”
The agency has scheduled the series of radio commercials to air on national and syndicated country music stations.
The Quality Inn television spot takes a more positive and sedate stance that drives home the salient points of that brand. These benefits include the fact that everything works, that the service staff is courteous and competent, and the price is reasonable.
In the TV commercial, a woman sleeps in a room with morning light shining in and birds chirping. The voiceover states, “They don’t cut the lawn at 7 a.m.” The ad then cuts to a shot of maids spreading fresh sheets on a double bed and the voiceover chimes in with the message, “Everything’s clean.”
The voiceover continues over a montage of scenes, all positive and assuring potential guests: “Everybody knows what they’re doing . . . they’ve been doing it for over 50 years.”
The themeline for the television spot, which broke July 8, is: “Where are you?”