Receives Bronze EFFIE Award for SMART Campaign

Campaign Drove Sales With Use Of Claymation Animation Voiced By Ed Helms

Jun 10, 2010, 09:00 ET from

DALLAS, June 10 /PRNewswire/ --®, travel experts and a leading provider of lodging worldwide, announced today that its SMART campaign has received the coveted bronze marketing communications award from The EFFIE Worldwide Organization in the Travel, Tourism and Destination category. Following a strenuous submission and voting procedure to narrow down the thousands of entries, awards were given to those companies that demonstrated the most effective global advertising initiatives through the use of creativity and unique brand-building.

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" continues to separate itself from other online travel companies with unique promotions and imaginative campaigns, and the SMART character personifies that powerful, yet fun brand advocate that we knew our customers could identify with," said Vic Walia, Sr. Director Brand Marketing for "This recognition by EFFIE is a true testament to the original thinking and cutting-edge efforts of everyone involved in the creation of SMART and we're truly humbled by the response this campaign has received from customers and industry leaders alike.", in conjunction with marketing partners Y&R Chicago and TargetCast, developed a smart and savvy theme that reassured hotel consumers that is A Smarter Way to Book™ – that consumers are being smart without having to spend hours looking for travel deals. By leveraging Claymation technology to create an animated spokesperson called "SMART," voiced by actor Ed Helms of box-office hit The Hangover and NBC's The Office, the character's unique appeal and familiar voice resonated with customers.

Through the use of broadcast and cable buy-ins, combined with digital media efforts, four commercials were developed starring SMART. Each video cleverly integrated the advantages of booking with such as information on the company's welcomerewards® loyalty program and using its hassle-free call center. Additionally, SMART appears at every possible touch-point where travel is top-of-mind for consumers, including appearances on TV, in rental cars, and even in New York Times Square. Registration in its welcomerewards® loyalty program also increased 32 percent within eight weeks of the launch of the campaign.

The EFFIE Awards are presented yearly by the New York American Marketing Association and are universally recognized as the leading indicator for honoring programs that positively contribute to a company's brand success in the continually changing world of marketing communications.

For more information please visit

For a collection of SMART campaigns, please visit

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Worob – Ruder Finn for

Phone: (212) 715-1536



Taylor L. Cole, APR --

Phone : (469) 335-8442

Email :

About® is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering more than 85,000 properties in over 60 countries from national chain hotels and all-inclusive resorts to local favorites and bed & breakfasts. With services such as welcomerewards™, an industry leading loyalty rewards program; the real opinions of other travelers captured in over 1.5 million Guest Reviews and;  a Price Match Guarantee, so that those booking with can be assured they are getting the best deal, either online or by speaking directly to a travel expert at 1-800-2-HOTELS 24 hours a day., A Smarter Way to Book™. For more information, please visit is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE). Please visit the Travel Smart Blog for consumer and business travel information. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter via @hotelsdotcom., A Smarter Way to Book™.

About The Effie Awards

The Effie Awards honor the most significant achievement in marketing communications: ideas that work. Known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry, the Effies recognize any and all forms of marketing communication that contribute to a brand's success. Any marketing medium is eligible for an Effie, as long as results are proven, including Print, TV, Radio, Outdoor, Internet, Guerrilla, Digital, Package Design, Events, Street Teams, PR, Paid or Unpaid Media. Since 1968, winning an Effie has become a global symbol of achievement. Today, Effie celebrates effectiveness worldwide with the Global Effie, the Euro Effie, the Middle East / North Africa Effie and more than 40 national Effie programs. For more details, visit Follow the @EffieAwards on Twitter and join the Effie Awards group on Facebook.,  A Smarter Way to Book, welcomerewards and the logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, LP. Other logos or products and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2010, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50