Hotel communications began six months out. Hotels were provided quantities of point-of-sale materials, employee motivation posters, ad slicks, and ideas- like a daily “Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny Pool Party,” to maximize ROI on this significant investment. Hotels could purchase an array of Looney Tunes merchandise, such as plush dolls, to create their own incentives and rewards programs.
High quality, eye-catching and durable materials were developed to support the program. For example, chalk board cutouts allowed hotels to add their own promotional messages about restaurant specials, kids’ activities, and so on.
Because All Marketing Is Not Created Equal
The Marketing Challenge: How can Holiday Inn build share of summer leisure travelers?
Solution: License the Looney Tunes Characters and tie into Warner Brothers’ media blitz surrounding Bugs Bunny’s 50th birthday. Create a fully integrated event including national TV, print, and PR, a full array of elements that any of the 1200 franchised hotels could customize for their location, and targeted communications to various sales distribution channels.
Holiday Inn and Bugs Bunny
All brand communications featured Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes characters. This print ad targeted a key sales channel- travel agents. It informed them about the promotion and why their customers would have fun at Holiday Inn during their vacation travels. And, to help capture their attention, it also offered the chance for travel agents win sweepstakes prizes.
The program garnered major PR visibility. Here is one example from Advertising Age Magazine. Holiday Inn’s program benefited from the massive PR that Warner Brothers put behind Bugs’ 50th birthday celebration.
Results: Over 90% of Holiday Inn hotels actively participated in the program, one of the highest levels in company history. Share among family leisure travel increased 12 points from prior year.
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