Some commercials tell you how good the brand is. Smarter commercials tell you how good you are. Choice Hotels takes the latter approach in this umbrella campaign for its collection of brands (including Comfort Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn). It's partly narrated by a business traveler as we watch him in action on an out-of-town customer visit. "You can't tour a factory over a fax machine. You can't impress a client with just e-mail—not that I haven't tried. Sometimes they just gotta see that winning smile." By the end of the spot, we see a conference-roomful of people hanging on his every word. "This smile remains undefeated," he concludes. Lots of business travelers (or would-be travelers) will readily identify with this guy. They feel a similar faith in their ability to charm clients, just as long as they can talk with them face-to-face. Thus, at a time when business travel is constrained by budgetary and other factors, the spot taps into viewers' sense that they need to get out on the road—and that money spent putting them there is money well spent. Now, once you've decided to grace these out-of-town clients with your irresistible presence, why should you stay at one of Choice's hotels? Rather than blather implausibly about some rare quality that unites Choice's brands, the spot cuts to the chase and tells viewers that Choice will reward them with triple airline miles from one of six carriers. That tangible inducement will mean a lot more to viewers than would the usual lodging-industry puffery.
Arnold, McLean, Va.
Choice Hotels International, Silver Spring, Md.
Executive creative director/art director
Chelsea Pictures, New York
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