NEW YORK - Looking to solidify its position as a family vacation motel, Days Inn has invited The Flintstones to check in for a two-year stay. The 1,425-unit hotel chain has signed an agreement with Turner Home Entertainment that gives the chain rights to use 'the modern stone-age family' in advertising and promotions for two years.
Days Inn will sell Flintstones paraphernalia in lobbies and eventually put the Hanna-Barbera characters in all its ads.
'Everybody has gone after the family vacation segment with promotions here or there,' said president and coo John Russell. 'This is a two-year campaign. The point is to reach families better and then reach the business traveler and seniors through them.'
Days Inn will back its stone-age initiative with a 15% media budget increase. The Parsippany, N.J.-based chain spent $4.6 million from January through July of this year after a $5.5 million ad budget in 1992, said Competitive Media Reporting.
'Flintstones awareness has been building, maybe due to the family value aspect, so we think it's a great match for anyone seeking that demographic,' said Nancy McCready, svp at Turner Home Entertainment.
The first ads from Babbit & Reiman/Atlanta with the Flintstones will be in Southern newspapers, touting Orlando as a destination. Flintstones TV spots will debut in March, with a promotion for 'Flintstones Family Fun Packs' that will also offer a flat per-room family rate. The Flintstones will also be used next to launch a family travel club card next year for discounts on travel merchandise and services. There will also be extensive Flintstones POS and local promotions with costumed Flintstones characters.
Days Inn is also hoping for a halo effect from the Flintstones live-action movie, due for release May 27.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)