Fallon Gets Smart As Holiday Inn Takes On Budget Hotel Segment

Seeking to gain a foothold in the economy hotel arena, Holiday Hospitality Corp. today breaks the first brand image TV advertising for its Holiday Inn Express brand.
Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, which also handles the $50 million Holiday Inn flagship account, created the three new 30-second spots. The campaign uses the tagline “Stay smart” to emphasize the pragmatism of staying at the Holiday Inn Express hotels, said La Detra White, the Atlanta-based company’s marketing director.
To illustrate just how intelligent it might be to choose Express, the lighthearted spots introduce people who suddenly feel knowledgeable about obscure subjects after their stay. In one execution, a concerned motorist tending to an injured bike rider at the side of a road diagnoses a dislocated patella. Asked if he is an orthopedic surgeon, the motorist replies, “No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”
The campaign targets “value-conscious” travelers–such as business executives who aren’t fully reimbursed for travel expenses–in an attempt to set Holiday Inn Express apart from the full-service Holiday Inn hotels that charge for amenities some may find unnecessary, said Tom Seddon, the client’s marketing vice president.
The spots will air through September on travel-friendly national cable networks, such as CNN, ESPN, TNT and the Weather Channel.
Billings were not disclosed, but White said the company would spend enough to “break through” competing ad messages from competitors such as Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn and La Quinta. Holiday Hospitality spent $1.8 million last year specifically on Holiday Inn Express, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Fallon was selected for the account without a formal review.