Arnold’s True Choice

Arnold’s newest effort for Choice Hotels targets the “true traveler”—in this case, leisure travelers on the lookout for good deals and low prices.

The campaign, titled “Gas, food lodging,” incorporates a promotion offering guests who book two nights $5 in gas money and a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal for staying at one of the 2,400 hotels run by Choice franchisees.

“We’re selling the idea of embracing the positive rewards of travel rather than apologizing to people who are forced to travel,” said Bruce Gifford, creative director at the McLean, Va., office of the Boston-based agency. “It’s great fun to be out there.”

Choice spends about $35 million annually on ads.

As with earlier Arnold work for Choice’s Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Clarion, Quality, Sleep Inn and MainStay brands, this campaign incorporates the tagline, “The power of being there. Go.”

Built around broadcast, print, outdoor, direct mail and collateral, the summer push kicks off this week on CBS, as well as cable outlets including The Discovery Channel, CNN, the Weather Channel, AMC and HGTV.

Thirty- and 15-second versions of an initial TV spot intercut a series of standard travel images—laughing children splashing in swimming pools, happy families posing for photographs—while a voiceover trumpets the fuel and food deal.

“We got blue skies,” said Gifford, “and gas, food and lodging. We’re talking the language of the road to people who are savvy about what they want and don’t want.”