Red Roof Inn goes a bit country

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The campaign uses several country music stars to promote the hotel chain as a road-trip pit stop
The campaign uses several country music stars to promote the hotel chain as a road-trip pit stop

RedRoof Inn is launching a fully integrated campaign and sweepstakes, encouraging consumers to take summer road trips despite high gas prices.

The “Red Roof loves country road trips” campaign encourages consumers to get out on the road to see summer country music concerts. It is targeted at country music fans — a demographic very similar to those that stay at Red Roof Inn locations, according to Marina MacDon­ald, SVP of corporate communications at Red Roof.

“We wanted to look at our consumers and see what motivates them, and when we looked at country music and our cus­tomers, it was a bull's-eye,” MacDonald said. “The goal is to drive folks to stay on the road and to enjoy mini-vacations this summer.”

The economy lodging brand has more than 325 loca­tions throughout the Midwest, Eastern and Southern US.

The campaign is running across various channels, including TV, radio, microsites, print ads in country music enthusiast magazine Country Weekly, posters in hotel lobbies and e-mail, as well as through wake-up call services.

The hotel chain has placed 30-second spots on the Great America Country GAC) channel, starring country stars Phil Vassar and Little Big Town. The short pieces call viewers back to a microsite, redrooflovescountry.com, where users can view three-minute films of the art­ists. The site also links to GAC's network page and includes fan photos, videos of country stars and information about other live country music performances. Visitors to the microsite can use an embedded Google map to locate Red Roof locations throughout the US.

The call to action for the campaign is to go on a road trip to a country music

concert and stay at a Red Roof Inn along the way. The microsites link back to the hotel's main site where consumers can make reservations.

The integrated approach is part of a strategy to get the word out without spending a huge amount of money.

“The idea was to see how we could take a $4 million campaign, and spin it on the track of a $40 million campaign,” MacDonald explained.

In conjunction with the campaign, the hotel chain has released a promotion, dubbed “Red Roof livin' easy sweep­stakes,” which calls consumers to stay at a Red Roof Inn for the chance to win more than $50,000 in prizes. Prizes are informed by some of the financial strug­gles consumers face, including a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle, a free year of gas and a year of mortgage payments.

“Gas and mortgage bills are top of mind for consumers right now, so this sweepstakes gives back in a fun way that is driven around consumer concerns,” MacDonald remarked.

To enter, consumers must register to become members of RediCard, Red Roof's loyalty program, or stay at a participating Red Roof. The loyalty program accrues points on every subsequent hotel stay for guests. These can be applied to room rate discounts and other perks, such as airplane miles and wireless Internet access.

The campaign and sweepstakes began in mid-July and is running through Septem­ber 30. Prize winners will be selected in a drawing at the end of October.

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