IHG and Ogilvy Celebrate Moments of Connection for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express

The inclusive global campaign will launch in the U.S. and U.K.

Ogilvy New York's new brand campaign for IHG's Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express focuses less on amenities than on human interaction. IHG

IHG Hotels & Resorts today will launch a global marketing campaign for two of its brands, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, that celebrates moments of human connection.

The multi-year campaign, created by the New York office of Ogilvy, kicks off in the United States today with a co-branded spot that will be shown on network and cable TV and in movie theaters; a second spot will be introduced later this month, while paid digital and social media campaigns will also be introduced in the U.S this month.

The first, new co-branded TV and cinema spot—made in 15-, 30- and 60-second versions—shows a diverse range of people laughing with each other both in and outside hotel properties. ”It’s funny what happens when people get together,” the spot says. “We’re there so you can be too.” Digital ads will also include this tagline.

A second co-branded spot to be introduced later this month will feature a cross-section of people connecting through the sense of touch; digital ads also will depict people holding hands, in a wide variety of grasps, or hugging each other.

IHG said that ”in a world where technology increasingly dominates how people connect, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express believe that celebrating real, human connection matters now more than ever.” A survey the company conducted recently in the U.S. and U.K. found that, in the previous 12 months, Americans and Brits communicated more often digitally than in person with good friends (67%), family members (59%) and even parents or guardians (39%).

The company also said the theme of human interaction was important to Holiday Inns’ founder, Kemmons Wilson, who opened the first Holiday Inn in Memphis in 1952. One of his favorite aphorisms was, “Although there are hundreds of languages in the world, a smile is a curve that sets a lot of things straight.”

The new campaign will run on various platforms—including radio, digital and social media—in the United Kingdom in July, and on digital and social platforms in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, continental Europe and Asia at dates not yet determined.

Claire Bennett, global chief marketing officer for IHG, pointed out that its location network—which has almost 4,000 hotels worldwide, including almost 3,000 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels in the U.S., with the remainder of these two brands in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe—positions it to “be part of the journey connecting our travelers with the ones that matter most.”

In the U.S., the first co-branded spot will run this month on ABC during the NBA finals; both will later run on ESPN, USA, Travel Channel and Bravo, among other channels, and on network TV in the fall. They also will run in movie theaters before summer blockbuster films.

IHG also will run four additional TV, digital and social ads—two each for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express–that will feature the theme of connection and run in July and August.

The company declined to discuss its budget for the campaign, whose target market is business and leisure travelers 22 to 55 years old with an annual income of over $75,000.


Campaign: “We’re there”
Advertiser: InterContinental Hotels Group
Chief Marketing Officer: Claire Bennett
SVP, Global Marketing Mainstream Brands: Heather Balsley
VP, Marketing Excellence: Lisa Gunther
Head of Global Brand & Commercial Performance, Holiday Inn: TJ Abrams
Director, Global Brand & Commercial Performance, Holiday Inn Express: Tia Cummings
Director, Mainstream Campaign Management & Planning: Marci Gotlieb
Creative Agency: Ogilvy New York
Chief Creative Officer: Leslie Sims
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Blank
Creative Director: Thomas Smith
Creative Director: Darren Urquhart
Associate Creative Director: Abigail Harris-Shea
Art Director: Betsy Appling
Copywriter: Leslie James
Executive Group Director: Ben Levine
Account Director: Liz O’Brien
Executive Program Director: Lesley Melincoff
Account Supervisor: Rolando Leal
Account Executive: Samantha Kaplan
Global Consulting Principal: Susan Machtiger
Group Planning Director: Margaret Rimsky
Global Consulting Partner: Elspeth Ross
Global Analyst: Shefali Bhandari

WPP Global Team Lead: Jaime Prieto

Production Agency: Hogarth Worldwide
Head of Production: Ruhiya Nuruddin
Executive Producer: Pete Scudese
Senior Integrated Producer: Jennifer Amaya
Associate Producer/ Post Producer: Laura Goehrke
Global Client Manger Director: Fiona Connel

Production Company: Rattling Stick
Director: Pete Riski
Director of Photography: Antonio Paladino
Executive Producer: Jeff Schupe
Executive Producer: Joe Biggins
Producer: Tess Mitchell
Producer: Megan Moore

Associate Producer: Julia Cook

Stills: RW 2 Productions
Photographers: The Wade Brothers
Producer: Shaun Veltkamp
Producer: Scott Moulton
Editor: Eve Ashwell
Editor: Josh Rathmell
Colorist: Colin Travers
Audio Engineer: Collin Blendell
Music: Duotone Audio Group