Arnold Brings Families Together

Arnold focuses on families getting together in new work breaking today for Choice Hotels International.

A “Get Together” sweepstakes campaign from the Havas agency in McLean, Va., extends the client’s “Power of being there. Go” tagline, which debuted a year ago.

“We celebrate the journey,” said Arnold creative director BruceGifford. “The campaign speaks to a universal truth about family travel: the farther you get from home, the closer you get to the people who live there.”

A 30-second television commercial is airing on cable venues such as CNN, MSNBC and the Discovery and Weather Channels in prime time and on network programs including Frasier.

Print is running in USA Today. A separate radio effort in support of the hotelier’s economy brands, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn, will air nationally on Westwood One and the ABC Radio Network.

“Memories,” directed in Chicago by Kieran Walsh of Chelsea Pictures in New York, opens with an in-car image of a typical family of four embarking on a road trip. The kids are restless, the parents distant. “The family is not connected,” said Gifford.

The clan’s journey is punctuated with quick shots of them enjoying CHI amenities: swimming in a pool, exercising, playing cards. By the time they reach their destination, father and son are ready for a talk about the birds and the bees, and Sis and Mom are sharing the view.

A voiceover ends the spot: “There’s nothing wrong with any family that a few days of traveling can’t fix.”

“It’s not a hard sell,” said Gifford. “These are hotels that help people get where they’re going; they’re not destinations.”

Promotions increase brand preference and cultivate loyalty, according to Gifford. Last year, he said, the chain gave away gift cards for free gasoline to guests, a customer reward since copied by other hotels.

The fall sweepstakes’ grand prize: airfare to any Choice Hotel within the continental U.S., lodging for four nights and $500 spending money for the winner and nine of his or her family and friends. The promotion runs through January 2003.

Silver Springs, Md.-based CHI also owns Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites.