IHG books priciest campaign in a decade to promote loyalty revamp

    • IHG Hotel & Resorts launched a campaign that illustrates the comforts of staying at its hotels as well as a revamped loyalty program, per an announcement. The work went live in the U.S. and U.K. on Aug. 3 and will roll out globally later this year.  
    • The multimillion-dollar “Guest How You Guest” campaign represents the largest media investment from the InterContinental owner in a decade, per a spokesperson. The effort promotes a reimagined loyalty platform, IHG One Rewards, that unifies the hospitality chain’s 17 brands and more than 6,000 hotels.
    • Creative appears across online, TV, print and out-of-home channels, including billboards, murals and subway stations. IHG joins a rush of hospitality companies kickstarting ambitious marketing plays to capitalize on the strong rebound in travel.

    IHG, which owns brands at a range of budget options like Kimpton and Holiday Inn, is enacting its priciest marketing blitz in a decade as travel demand continues to soar but produces some headaches for eager jetsetters. The global campaign represents the most extensive media investment the group has ever put behind its loyalty offering, following the introduction of IHG One Rewards in April. The streamlined program, which prioritizes flexibility and richer benefits for users, is accompanied by a new mobile app that also receives a boost in “Guest How You Guest.”    

    Ads attached to the campaign depict IHG customers enjoying a pampered lifestyle, with people relaxing poolside, grabbing drinks with friends and having a feast of sweets and pastries in bed. The idea is to play up a sense of comfort, which could resonate as consumers eager for a break encounter overcrowded airports and other travel-related disruptions that have become common this summer.

    “When you look around, it’s hard not to notice that travelers are increasingly left to fend for themselves, and that’s simply not what being a guest should feel like,” said Claire Bennett, global chief customer officer at IHG, in a statement. “The images and content are engaging and beautiful, but they are also authentic and send a message that you don’t always have to do everything. We’re here to take care of all of you.”

    Video support includes a variety of 30- and 15-second spots, as well as social media components on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok. IHG developed custom stop motion and triptic assets to help the creative better pop on app feeds. The marketer is also running takeover promotions tailored to markets like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and London, along with print media plays in the U.S. and U.K.

    More hospitality chains are trying to win back travelers by touting the practical perks and indulgences of staying at a hotel versus other accommodations. Hilton last month debuted its first global brand platform and an associated campaign with a similar bent. A slate of ads star heiress Paris Hilton and lean into her lavish lifestyle to highlight features like pet-friendly services and guaranteed connected rooms. Other elements of the push swipe at home-sharing rivals such as Airbnb, with one video showing a family arriving at their getaway only to realize the house is much creepier than advertised.   


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