MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Homewood Suites by Hilton, the international brand of the all-suite, home-like hotels, today launched an integrated brand awareness campaign starring the brand's beloved "Lewis the Duck" mascot and its suites with full kitchens. The campaign includes TV, print, and online ads, as well as a Duckmentary chronicling Lewis' TV ad shoot, which will serve as the centerpiece for a corresponding social media and public relations campaign.
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Aimed at converting business travelers who would normally choose a traditional business hotel into Homewood Suites customers for their longer trips, the campaign focuses on a cranky cooped up goldfish in a fishbowl and his envy of Lewis' space to roam and spread his wings at Homewood Suites.
According to Homewood Suites vice president of marketing Carla Raynor, most business travelers who are on the road five or more nights can relate to the plight of the cramped goldfish. She noted that before developing the campaign, Homewood Suites conducted informal focus groups about what made a business hotel stand-out. "One of the participants told us they felt that most hotel rooms were just four walls and a bed, and after a few days they start feeling like they're trapped in a fish bowl. However, at Homewood Suites they can spread out and make themselves at home," said Raynor.
The TV spots, which began March 21, will air throughout the year in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta, as well as nationally through CNN Airport Network and the Hotel Network. The print campaign will run nationally in USA Today, in local city business journals and the National Business Travel Association (NBTA)'s monthly magazine. The campaign will also include online banner ads within Google's, Yahoo's and Accuen's ad networks, media placements on Hulu and USA Today's iPad application, as well as a more aggressive spend on search to drive greater traffic to Homewood's online booking sites.
"We intend to target the business traveler while they are on the road or thinking about their next business trip," noted Raynor. "Those who know Homewood, and have experienced our roomy suites and added-value amenities, love us, but there are many road warriors who have 5+ night stays that aren't aware of upscale extended-stay hotel options like Homewood Suites."
Truth in Advertising: Homewood's Space and Amenities Let Travelers be at Home While They Roam
Whether traveling for business, leisure, or with the entire family, Homewood Suites caters to guests' many needs. For the cost of a typical hotel room, travelers get a roomy studio, one- or two-bedroom suite with a fully equipped kitchen and complimentary daily hot breakfast and evening dinner with drinks.* Just some of the many reasons Homewood Suites was Named "Top Extended-Stay Hotel" seven out of the past 10 years in the J.D. Power & Associates North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index.
Homewood Suites' extended value also includes complimentary high-speed internet, 24-hour fully equipped business center, as well as on-site fitness centers, swimming pool and/or recreational areas including basketball courts, putting green and outdoor grills. Homewood also offers a complimentary grocery shopping service, which allows guests to leave their food wish list for the hotel's staff in the morning and return to a fully-stocked refrigerator.**
Lewis in the Limelight: Campaign Brings Brand's Beloved Mascot to the Masses
In addition to introducing a larger audience of business travelers to Homewood Suites' upscale and value-add amenities, the campaign also seeks to increase name recognition, distinction and awareness for the brand by building on the equity of its beloved mascot, "Lewis the Duck."
Lewis and his family – wife Lois, son Lance and daughter Lisa – have gained recognition over the last several years as the subject of a series of children's books that helps explain business travel to extended-stay customers who have to leave young children at home while away on business. The first book was published in 2008 and there are now three installments in the series: Lewis the Duck and His Long Trip, Lewis the Duck Goes to Canada and Lewis the Duck Goes to Mexico. Homewood is currently the only hotel brand with an original children's book series.
Lewis, Lois, Lance and Lisa were also featured in the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Homewood Suites was the first and only hotel brand to be featured in the parade's history and the float will remain in the parade through 2012, and possibly longer if the contract is extended.
"We are confident that this new branding campaign will turn a best kept secret of savvy frequent travelers into a well known truth for all travelers," added Raynor.
About Homewood Suites
Launched in 1989, the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand today has more than 300 hotels open with approximately 80 in the development pipeline. Beyond its spacious suites and home-like amenities, additional guest features include an on-site Suite Shop convenience store, complimentary grocery shopping services**, a complete business center, and laundry services at most locations. Homewood Suites by Hilton participates in Hilton HHonors, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles and No Blackout Dates.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 92 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,600 hotels and 600,000 rooms in 82 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit www.hiltonworldwide.com.
*Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.
**Guest pays for groceries. Other restrictions apply.
Hilton HHonors membership, earning of Points & Miles, and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.
SOURCE Homewood Suites by Hilton