Ad of the Day: Motel 6

The hotel chain celebrates its 50th birthday with a journey through the past

Motel 6 wants you to know it's still around.

To celebrate its 50th birthday, the highway hotel chain is taking a retrospective road trip of sorts. A new spot for the brand, created by The Richards Group, features a metamorphosing family who go through five decades' worth of design in 30 seconds. It's Transformers meets The Brady Bunch meets The Time Machine—a mid-century station wagon evolves into a modern-day minivan while the inhabitants undergo a series of rapid-fire wardrobe changes.

The visuals, crafted by production company King and Country, are great. Entertaining and detailed, they capture the span of stereotypical fashions, and smartly use iconic gadgets—from an early, DustBuster-sized cell phone to a tablet—to illustrate the scope and pace of the middle-class consumer's evolution. The gimmickry, though, amusing as it is, to some degree drowns out the message—which is that Motel 6 has remained reliable throughout all that change—leaving the somewhat cheesy and disconnected copy to carry more than its fair share of the selling.

"No matter how much the journey changes, you'll know there's a light on at the end of it," Tom Bodett, the brand's longtime voice, concludes. "Motel 6. Fifty years and the light's still on."

Fact is, with the exception of the wrapping and the widgets, the journey hasn't really changed all that much. Mom, Dad, Jack and Jane are all still piling into the jumbo jet to drive cross country, and stopping to sleep at the same hotel. Sure, that's the point, to some degree—but it's a little muddled, and not much of a payoff.

Let's just hope, when they get to their rooms, the bedsheets aren't from the 1960s.


Client: Motel 6

Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas

Group Creative Director/Copywriter: Chris Smith

Creative/Art Director: Peter Everitt

Producer: Sheri Cartwright

Production Company: King and Country

Director: Rick Gledhill

Executive Producer: Jerry Torgerson

Line Producer: Gary Kout

Post Producer: Paul Winze

Director of Photography: Jordan Valenti

Editor: Andrew Maggio

Art Director: Jon Lorenz

VFX Supervisor: Bryant Reif

Designers: Rick Gledhill, Mike Goubeaux, Gabriella Russo, Pietro Desopo, Tom Kenney, Greg Mitchell, Dan Hamilton

Previsualization: Billy Maloney, Hugo Codinach, Jon Lorenz, Mike Johnson, Bryant Reif

3-D Artists: Kyung Park, Mike Johnson, Andrew Cook, Billy Maloney, Andrew Parris, Chris Kelley, Greg Mitchell, Adam Swaab, Tim Salikov

Compositing Artists: Jon Lorenz, Rick Gledhill, Tom Kenney, Chris Kelley, Adam Swaab

Telecine Company: New Hat

Colorist: Bob Festa

Sound Effects Company: Lime Studios

Audio Mixer: Loren Silber