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Holiday Inn Express hones in on digital video to increase bookings

Holiday Inn Express’ new Stay Smart campaign builds on a previous marketing campaign that was popular with consumers. Digital placements of the video will be spread across mobile, tablet, online and video placements.

“We plan to complement the TV activity with a mix of digital, tablet, mobile and gaming video placements,” said Heather Balsley, senior vice president of the Americas Holiday Inn Brand Family, Atlanta.

“We’re targeting both business and leisure travelers, and we know their travel decisions can be made at any moment,” she said.

“Since our target guest is digitally connected 24/7, mobile is the perfect way to capture the moment when a booking decision is made. From booking a room online or via our mobile app, to communicating with our guests via Twitter and Facebook, we know we need to be where our guests are.”

Mobile rebranding
Holiday Inn Express’ new Stay Smart advertising campaign includes two new TV commercials with the tagline, “But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel last night.”

Holiday Inn Express’ previous Stay Smart campaign debuted in 1998 and ran for 11 years.

The TV commercials are being launched in the United States across ten networks, including ESPN, TBS and Bravo.

To support the video on digital platforms, Holiday Inn Express is running mobile and online placements in YouTube, Hulu and CBS Interactive.

Nowadays, TV is often not enough for brands to reach the most possible users. By leveraging mobile and online platforms, brands can repurpose video to get the most out of a marketing campaign.

Additionally, social media, online and billboard media will be used to support the campaign.

Mindshare is coordinating all of the media planning and buying for the campaign.

Here is one of the new commercials

Mobile bookings
As consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to book quick stays at hotels, Holiday Inn Express has steadily built up its mobile presence.

Most recently, the brand became one of the first advertisers to leverage Yelp’s in-app mobile advertising opportunities with a campaign that drove last-minute bookings (see story).

Additionally, a click-to-call campaign netted a 10pc booking rate for a hotel in Logan, UT (see story).

“It is important to note that this is not the same Stay Smart campaign from before,” Ms. Balsley said.

“The campaign has changed because our guests have changed,” she said.

“They are now digitally connected 24/7, even while on the go. The media landscape has also changed dramatically since 2008 when the campaign was last on air. With the advent of social media driving engagement and interaction with brands, we have an opportunity to communicate with our target audience in new and more meaningful ways. That is why the TV commercials are just the first step in a campaign that will truly embrace digital, mobile and social media.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York