Mark and His Family Hit the Road in New Commercials From Holiday Inn

ATLANTA—While Holiday Inn celebrates 50 years as “America’s Hotel,” the brand’s familiar character, Mark, is reunited with his family when they hit the road this week in a campaign called “The Great American Road Trip.” The campaign will support Holiday Inn promotions planned for spring and summer.

“Fair Share” breaks April 12 and supports a promotion in which members of Priority Club Rewards, the Holiday Inn brand’s loyalty program, will earn double points or miles through May 31, 2002, starting with their second stay when they pay with their VISA card. The spot features Mark’s family packing up the station wagon for their road trip when they learn Mark is bringing a lawyer to make sure he will receive his fair share of double points or miles for hotel stays throughout the road trip.

“The ‘Mark’ ads communicate Holiday Inn’s role in revolutionizing road travel, while simultaneously educating consumers about the great added value Holiday Inn is providing through its spring and summer promotions,” said Greg Price, vice president of marketing for Holiday Inn hotels. “As Holiday Inn celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look forward to continuing to play a significant role in the lives of Americans—much like Mark and his family—as they travel across the U.S. for both business and leisure.”

In “Road Trip,” which debuts in early May, Mark’s family has finally arrived at the Grand Canyon after staying at Holiday Inn hotels along the way. Dad exclaims that they’ve had the best vacation ever because of the great value offered by the Holiday Inn brand’s summer promotion, “The Great American Road Trip,” in which guests earn free gas, as well as a chance to win a minivan. At the end of the spot, Mark, always a schemer, enlists Grandma to help convince his parents to head for Las Vegas, where they will continue to stay at Holiday Inn hotels en route and reap the benefits of the summer promotion.

“Since Holiday Inn`s new promotions are centered around ‘The Great American Road Trip,’ who better to go on the road than the Harveys?” said Scott Vincent, creative group director at Fallon. “So we packed them up and sent them on the road. With Mark in the back seat, you can imagine what happens.”


Both commercials will air on cable outlets, with “Fair Share” targeting business travelers on stations such as CNN, ESPN, Headline News, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, and The Weather Channel, and “Road Trip” targeting leisure travelers on channels that include Lifetime, TNT, USA Network, TBS, A&E, Animal Planet, Country Music Television, The Learning Channel, TV Land, and Nickelodeon.

Mark and his family, first introduced in 1999, tagged the familiar line, “What does this look like, a Holiday Inn?” Since then, Mark moved out of his parents’ house and into a Holiday Inn hotel where he could take advantage of the full-service amenities. The campaign won an EFFIE award for effectiveness in 2000.

Great American Road Trip Summer Promotion
When guests stay at a Holiday Inn hotel from May 1 through September 8, 2002 and present “The Great American Road Trip” Gas Refund certificate, they will get a $10 Gas Refund voucher and the chance to win one of 20 special Warner Bros. Edition Chevy Venture mini-vans. To obtain “The Great American Road Trip” Gas Refund certificate, consumers should visit or check major print publications such as Parade, USA Weekend, Ebony, and Modern Maturity.
Holiday Inn also will provide kids with games for the road and offer its Kids Eat and Stay Free program. For more information on “The Great American Road Trip” and how to enter the “Chevy a Week” summer sweepstakes, visit or call 1-800-HOLIDAY.

American entrepreneur Kemmons Wilson opened the first Holiday Inn hotel in 1952 in Memphis, Tennessee, after he returned from a family road trip discouraged over the lack of family and value-oriented lodging. Over the past fifty years, Holiday Inn hotels, with 1,600 properties worldwide, has retained those core ideals of family, value, and entrepreneurial spirit and grown to become the most recognized lodging brand in the world. As “America’s Hotel,” the brand drives industry standards that travelers expect from all hotel chains and has introduced services and amenities to the industry that include: computerized reservations systems and online reservations; a guest frequency program; a centralized travel agency commission program; in-room telephones, televisions, and air conditioning; free ice; free parking; swimming pools, on-site restaurants, and conference rooms at every hotel; and free accommodations and meals for children. For more information on the 50th Anniversary of Holiday Inn, go to