Renovations Done, Holiday Inn Touts Amenities

Ads Mix Tactical Aims With ‘Wholesome, Mid-American’ Humor
CHICAGO–Holiday Inn Hotels uses wholesome if offbeat humor to tout the amenities the chain offers business and leisure travelers in Fallon McElligott’s first new TV work for the client in more than a year.
The campaign suggests there are “certain things you can get at a Holiday Inn that you can’t get at home,” said David Lubars, the Minneapolis agency’s president and creative director.
The first spot, breaking today, introduces Mark, a 37-and-a-half-year-old man who lives at home with his parents and grandmother. His folks urge him to move out or at least pay rent, but Mark argues that he’s their kid, and kids should stay for free.
“What do you think this is, Holiday Inn?” his mother asks as the family breaks up in laughter.
Three other spots continue the theme as Mark requests a rewards program, better breakfast and business services including catering in exchange for his rent. At the end of every spot, his demands are met by his parents and grandmother with ridicule and laughter.
The campaign has no tagline, concentrating on the specific advantages Holiday Inn offers.
“On one level, this is a hard-hitting, tactical campaign,” Lubars said. But the campaign also injects a personality for the brand by reflecting “the wholesome, mid-American humor that Holiday Inn is,” he said.
Aimed at business and leisure travelers, the campaign delves into the specific changes Holiday Inn has made through its $1.5 billion renovation program. Fallon’s previous work focused on those renovation efforts, including a controversial
spot that featured a woman who had undergone a sex change operation. That spot aired only once –during the 1997 Super Bowl–before being yanked.
“The previous spots were about making changes,” Lubars said. “They’ve done a lot of that work, and now it’s time to talk up the attributes.”
Billings were not disclosed. Holiday Inn spent $31 million on advertising over the first 11 months of last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.