Motel 6 Rekindles Homey ‘Light On’ Invitation

The Richards Group Updates Theme in New $14 Mil. TV Campaign
DALLAS – Famous for its “We’ll leave the light on for you” slogan, Dallas-based Motel 6 has rolled out a new $14 million ad campaign that expands on its long-running tagline.
The “See the light” campaign’s 15- and 30-second television spots have an off-camera Tom Bodett interviewing “guests” who discuss how they first “saw the light” and started staying at Motel 6.
Both commercials were created by The Richards Group in Dallas. The spots, which began running nationally in late May, will continue through October in an attempt to influence summer vacationers.
Despite its success, the 13-year-old “We’ll leave the light on for you” campaign was in need of an update, explained Motel 6 vice president of marketing services Eric Studer.
“You have to ask yourself if it’s working or if people have heard it so many times they don’t hear it anymore,” Studer said.
“Bodett still moves the needle, based on our call volumes, so the company chose to build on the old theme rather than substituting a new one,” he said.
The new campaign coincides with the completion of a $600 million renovation of the motel chain’s 800 properties, or about $7,000 per room.
Advertising depicts the new rooms and, for the first time, common areas such as swimming pools and laundry rooms. The work also attempts to demonstrate the changing face of Motel 6’s target market.
“Now that [the renovation] is complete we are ready to talk about something new. For the first time we are portraying guests in the commercials,” said Studer.
These guests, according to Studer, increasingly choose low-budget accommodations not out of necessity but out of a desire to experience a good value.
The television spots depict a range of customers including single women, couples, a father and son, construction workers and a traveler with a dog to demonstrate the fact that Motel 6 is a pet-friendly chain.