One of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s newest elected members joins the „Official Hotel of Major League Baseball“ to lead integrated marketing and activation efforts in 2007
ATLANTA – Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, the „Official Hotel of Major League Baseball,“ announced the signing of one of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s newest elected members, Cal Ripken, Jr., as the most recent personality to front the brand’s successful „Look Again“ integrated marketing campaign. Ripken joins the growing roster of professional athletes championing the Holiday Inn brand that currently includes NASCAR drivers Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer.
The latest „Look Again“ campaign takes a humorous look at life on the road for today’s business travelers. Ripken is managed by 16W Marketing, who negotiated the deal on his behalf, and will be featured in „Look Again“ TV, print and online advertisements this spring as well as in-hotel and online promotions throughout the baseball season.
„My lifestyle requires me to be on the road non-stop, so working with Holiday Inn is a natural fit for me because I’m always looking for a comfortable, familiar environment where I can relax, exercise, and conduct business meetings. Plus, the Priority Club® Rewards loyalty program provides access to great experiences including a Major League Baseball auction where you can bid on tickets to the World Series,“ says Major League Baseball great and a 2007 electee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cal Ripken, Jr. „Holiday Inn is an authentic, reliable, trustworthy brand that I feel great about representing and the ads are lighthearted and very funny, which made them a lot of fun to shoot.“
The primary target of the campaign is what the brand defines as the „modern everyday hero,“ a blended attitudinal segment that spans Generation X and Baby Boomers. Ripken’s involvement in support of Holiday Inn’s groundbreaking MLB sponsorship is expected to help the brand reach this core audience and drive awareness of Holiday Inn as a first choice for business travel with amenities like free High Speed Internet, comfortable in-room work spaces, full-service meeting facilities and Priority Club Rewards.
„Cal Ripken, Jr. is an undisputed icon in sports and his name is synonymous with consistency and unwavering, outstanding performance. His values represent those of Holiday Inn and of our guests,“ says Mark Snyder, senior vice president of Brand Management for Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts in the Americas.
„The ‘Look Again‘ campaign has already made great strides in reinforcing the strengths of today’s Holiday Inn and how it has evolved to meet the needs of business travelers“ he adds. „And we know that working with Major League Baseball and the great Cal Ripken, Jr. is going to amplify our message exponentially.“
The partnership with Ripken is yet another extension of the brand’s role as the „Official Hotel of Major League Baseball,“ and is designed to further the affinity of baseball fans for Holiday Inn. A national study conducted by Scarborough Research found that more than six in ten Holiday Inn guests (13.5 million) are self-identified MLB fans. Additionally, MLB ballpark attendees comprise approximately one quarter (24%) of Holiday Inn guests and account for more traffic to Holiday Inn hotels than attendees of any other sport.
Broadcast and print elements
Created by Fallon Minneapolis, the „Look Again“ TV spots chronicle the entertaining antics of „The Business Guys,“ three coworkers who encounter extraordinary personalities – one of whom is Cal Ripken, Jr. – in ordinary business travel circumstances. Ripken will make his guest star appearance in two humorous spots which will begin airing nationwide on ESPN on April 2nd and on Turner Broadcasting beginning July 6th. The spots will run on ESPN throughout the end of the Major League Baseball season and on Turner Broadcasting through the Major League Baseball playoffs.
„We’re bringing a few new elements to the campaign with the latest spots, which feature Cal Ripken, Jr. and a new female addition to the three ‚Business Guys‘ team,“ said Joel Rodriguez, Fallon group creative director. „We couldn’t have asked for more from Cal in an improvisational situation. He has a great sense of humor and played along perfectly with the action. That is the great part about an improv setting – you take what’s clicking and go with it.“
Print ads, created by OgilvyAction, will appear in USA Today beginning the first week of April. The entire campaign will run until the World Series in October.
Online and promotional extensions
The integrated campaign extends beyond traditional advertising with online and promotional activities. The „Official Hotel of Major League Baseball“ will do its part to make sure that, just like Cal Ripken, Jr., its guests „Never Miss a Game“ while they are on the road. Throughout the entire Major League Baseball season, Holiday Inn guests will receive free access to MLB.com Gameday AudioTM. By logging into Holiday Inn’s free high-speed Internet service and connecting through the brand’s virtual concierge service – eHostTM – guests will be able to listen to 2007 regular and postseason MLB games live. And for fans who want to connect with other fans while watching their favorite team, select Holiday Inn hotels will host MLB viewing parties throughout the season.
From May 31st to July 31st, 2007, two million packs of Upper Deck baseball cards will be distributed to Priority Club Rewards Members who stay at a Holiday Inn hotel in the US or Canada*. Each pack will contain a Cal Ripken, Jr. baseball card with promotional code, which recipients can enter online at www.holidayinn.com/baseball to play Instant Win games and register for the Grand Prize sweepstakes. Instant Win prizes include signed items from Upper Deck, autographed Cal Ripken, Jr. merchandise, free stays at Holiday Inn and Priority Club Rewards points. Grand Prize winners will receive two tickets to the 2007 World Series, roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, and incidentals.
Previous „Look Again“ broadcast campaigns
Having first launched in June 2006, the well-received „Look Again“ campaign has previously seen „The Business Guys“ meet Major League Baseball sportscaster Joe Buck and do their best to imitate his legendary voice.
The first two broadcast spots in the „Look Again“ campaign for 2007 launched February 17 with Jeff Burton of Richard Childress Racing stepping out from behind the wheel to get in front of the camera. The spots aired during the Daytona 500 where Ripken – a NASCAR fan – drove the pace car.
*Upper Deck baseball card promotion will not be available to guests staying in Holiday Inn hotels in Quebec
About Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands with global headquarters in the U.K. and Americas headquarters in Atlanta. With nearly 1,400 properties worldwide and nearly 1,000 in the U.S., Holiday Inn is the most recognized lodging brand in the world and certainly the most iconic. Since 1952 full-service Holiday Inn hotels have provided the services that business travelers need, while also offering a comfortable, casual atmosphere where vacationing guests can relax and enjoy amenities such as restaurants and room service, swimming pools, fitness centers, and comfortable lounges. Additional features such as meeting space and onsite business centers, KidSuites® rooms, Holidome® recreation centers, the Kids Eat Free and Kids Stay Free programs and Priority Club Rewards memberships have helped to establish the Holiday Inn brand as „America’s Hotel.“ Call 1-800-HOLIDAY for more information or to book a reservation.
About Priority Club Rewards
With more than 30 million members, IHG’s Priority Club Rewards is the first, largest and fastest-growing
guest loyalty program in the hotel industry. Winner of the 18th Annual Freddie Awards hotel loyalty „Program of the Year“ and named „Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World“ two years running by Global Traveler magazine, Priority Club Rewards offers more sought-after benefits and the greatest ease of use of any hotel loyalty program. Enrollment in Priority Club Rewards is free. Guests can enroll by logging on at priorityclub.com, by calling 1-888-211-9874 or by inquiring at the front desk of any of IHG’s 3,700 hotels worldwide.