Residence Inn by Marriott, the hotel brand that originated the extended-stay category in 1975, premiered a wild new advertising campaign to educate travelers about how the brand is positioned to meet the needs of today’s growing number of long-term stay guests who require space, comfort and an increasing number of amenities while navigating the concrete jungle.
The brand’s new campaign, which kicks off nationally the week of March 26, is themed, “It’s not a room. It’s a Residence.TM” The broadcast, digital and mobile ads spotlight Residence Inn’s focus on providing ample and on-trend room to work, relax, and maintain balance, and features a surprising cast of animal stars. Working closely with their handlers and the American Humane Association to assure the comfort of its newest stars, Residence Inn saw to it that the animals felt right at home.
Opal, an Asian elephant, is based in Toronto where the commercial was filmed. With an entourage of four and her own “green room” Opal enjoyed her favorite foods while relaxing in a hay filled area during her down time. Stanley nibbled on his tree in between shoots at Universal Studios in California, while the Van der Beak penguin family enjoyed socializing in a climate-controlled tent.
Using both actual shots and computer generated images, the stars, large and small are shown taking advantage of some of the in-room amenities most desired by today’s travelers, including free Internet, spacious suites, fully-equipped kitchens, luxurious bedding, and more.
“Residence Inn operates with more knowledge of the extended-stay traveler than anyone and these wonderful animals have helped us showcase some of the best features of our suites,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn by Marriott. “Delivering on our guests’ needs for more living space, beautiful and functional physical environments, and an energetic and passionate service staff is how we maintain our leadership position in the market.”
According to Mayer, Residence Inn has an occupancy rate 18% higher than the industry average, and business is picking up. The brand, which built its business primarily in suburban areas, is introducing new hotels in compelling urban locations, including Manhattan. One-third of all business travel rooms booked are in the extended-stay category.
“The extended-stay travel industry is an economic indicator, our increase in reservations signals a greater need for training, manufacturing, consulting and other services, and that means business is thriving,” said Mayer. “And, ‘thriving’ is what Residence Inn is dedicated to helping guests do while on long road trips away from home.”