Best Western, MasterCard Are ‘Priceless’

LOS ANGELES Best Western International has launched a summer promotion tied to MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign.

Now through Aug. 31, when guests pay with their MasterCard, the Phoenix-based hotel chain will enter them into the MasterCard Weekends Matter sweepstakes. Ten winners will receive a “priceless” grand prize—a weekend home for one year to be shared with anyone in any location, valued at $40,000. There will also be 200 first-prize winners, who will receive a $500 MasterCard Gift Card to plan their own onetime weekend getaway. In addition, guests have the chance to win a trip for four nights at any Best Western in the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The package includes air transportation, select ground transportation and spending money.

While this is Best Western’s eighth promotion this year, it is the first time the chain has teamed with the “Priceless” campaign, said Bob Gilbert, vice president of worldwide marketing and sales for Best Western. The hotel chain has a preferred relationship with MasterCard, he said.

“If you look at the demographics of MasterCard members and a Best Western guest, the two match really well,” said Gilbert. He added: “The travel pie isn’t really growing. A company has to put out tactical promotions and initiatives that break through the clutter.”

To tout the promotion, Best Western’s in-house agency has created two print executions focusing on families, the promotion and the opportunity to win. One ad, which is running in USA Today, shows parents and a kid swimming underwater. Copy reads: “Family weekend trip from Best Western: $0. Quality time someplace cool: Priceless.”

“The beauty is that we’re able to work with the Priceless team and be part of a very successful campaign,” said Gilbert.

Best Western is spending less than $1 million on this campaign, which also includes an e-mail component sent to members of its frequent travel club, said Gilbert. While the ads were created in-house, Best Western’s agency is Davis Media Group in Baltimore.

MasterCard spent nearly $190 million on ads in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. McCann-Erickson in New York handles MasterCard advertising.