Breaking Travel News

Red Lion Hotels Brings the Lion to Life

WestCoast Hospitality Corporation,
representing Red Lion Hotels and WestCoast Hotels in the U.S. and Canada,
has unveiled a new advertising and marketing campaign for Red Lion Hotels
that will launch this June in a series of print ads. WestCoast Hospitality
retained ISM Boston, an advertising agency specializing in the travel
industry, to develop a new contemporary brand image for the Red Lion
brand. Built around the tag line “Stay Comfortable,” the campaign uses an
illustrated lion that helps to portray the guest’s experience when they
stay at a Red Lion Hotel. “Most hotel advertising looks the same and says essentially the same
thing,” explained Barry Hughes, Vice President of Marketing and
Distribution for WestCoast Hospitality. “Our challenge was to create
something distinctive that is true to the spirit of our brand and also
resonates with our customers.”

With the illustrated character, Red Lion Hotels plans to create a “brand
mascot” that will eventually be featured on everything from the hotel vans
and collateral materials, to websites and roadside billboards. “In the
focus groups and testing we did, the lion continually won out over more
traditional advertising,” said Hughes, “Travelers thought the lion
character made the advertising more fun and attention getting, helped to
better capture and define the personality of the brand, and, when combined
with the accompanying tag line of ‘Stay Comfortable,’ it created a really
effective way to convey the brand’s core messages of comfort and value.”

The campaign will break in daily newspapers and regional editions of USA
Today in key markets for Red Lion Hotels, including Seattle, Denver, San
Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, Dallas and
Houston. First among the messages communicated in the campaign will be the
launch of WestCoast Hospitality’s new free “Net4Guests” high-speed
wireless Internet access, available in participating Red Lion and
WestCoast Hotels.

“The mid-priced hotel category is extremely competitive and customers have
a very hard time distinguishing one brand from another,” stated Gary
Leopold, President and CEO of ISM. “With this lion character, I think we
have created something that is literally a personification of the Red Lion
brand. It has infinite applications and enormous flexibility, and we plan
to have a lot of fun weaving this character into the brand experience.”

WestCoast Hospitality Corporation is a hospitality and leisure company
primarily engaged in the ownership, management, development and
franchising of mid-scale, full service hotels under its WestCoast(R) and
Red Lion(R) brands. In addition, through its entertainment division, which
includes its, Inc. subsidiary, it engages in event ticket
distribution and promotes and presents a variety of entertainment
productions. G&B Real Estate Services, its real estate division, engages
in traditional real estate-related services, including developing,
managing and acting as a broker for sales and leases of commercial and
multi-unit residential properties.