Fallon Airs Debut Spots For Holiday Inn Express

The Claim: Using the Budget Hotel Chain Will Make You Feel Brainy
CHICAGO–Seeking to gain a foothold in the economy hotel arena, Holiday Hospitality Corp. today breaks the first image campaign for its 7-year-old Holiday Inn Express brand.
Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis, which also handles the $50 million Holiday Inn flagship account, created the three 30-second spots, none of which show the hotel rooms. Instead, the pragmatism of staying at Express hotels is emphasized, said La Detra White, the Atlanta company’s marketing director.
Each ad features an ordinary person who steps forward in a crisis, apparently with expert knowledge. One spot features an injured cyclist being tended to by a concerned motorist, who diagnoses a dislocated patella. “I’m going to have to set it,” says the motorist. “You are an orthopedic surgeon?” asks the cyclist. “No,” the motorist replies, “but I did stay at Holiday Inn Express last night.” The campaign’s theme, “It won’t make you smarter, but you’ll feel smarter,” appears as a caption.
Another spot shows a bus driver hesitating before a rickety bridge. A passenger reassures him: “Those support cables, they’re tungsten-wrapped with zirconium flex plates!” The driver puts his foot down and says, “What are you, some kind of structural engineer?” The woman’s standard reply: “No, but I did stay at Holiday Inn Express last night.” The tag: “Stay smart.”
The campaign, which will air on cable TV channels, targets “value conscious” business travelers who might not want a full-service Holiday Inn hotel, said Tom Seddon, the client’s marketing vice president.
The campaign’s budget was undisclosed. HHC spent just $2 million last year on Express, per Competitive Media Reporting.