NEW YORK Holiday Inn is a currently promoting its "Best Breaks" package that includes a free hot breakfast with a standard room via a "talking egg-a-gram."
The viral campaign consists of five rich-media breakfast characters, developed by technology company Oddcast, which people can program to speak any message and e-mail to friends. Independent i-shop Digitas of Boston also contributed to the effort.
"It's very difficult to break through in traditional media," said Mark Snyder, senior vice president of brand management at the Atlanta-based client. "We wanted to interrupt the consumer and insert the brand in a fun and compelling way."
Consumers can access the "talking egg-a-gram" at Holiday Inn's Web site. Earlier this year, the hotel chain also sent about 7-8 million of the electronic greetings to primarily business travelers in its database.
During a two-week period in February, New York-based Oddcast reported that more than 75 percent of the people who received the e-mails opened them, and 37 percent of those who opened them, forwarded them to others.
The offline component from Publicis Groupe's Fallon in Minneapolis includes inserts in USA Today, airport signage and table tents on the trays of airline seats.