Good Thing It’s Not Called Blue Roof Inn

After Red Roof Inn was sold last year to a private equity group, the new management team wanted to break out of TV advertising, in favor of a more integrated approach.
They found it in a celebrity endorsement deal with country artists Phil Vassar and the group Little Big Town, according to The New York Times.
As part of a multimedia campaign, the voices of Mr. Vassar and the members of Little Big Town can be heard when guests at Red Roof motels ask for wake-up calls or potential guests are placed on hold when calling to book rooms.
The campaign seeks to capitalize on the popularity of country music among customers of Red Roof and the fact these fans often take road trips to see their favorite artists. That is reflected in the theme of the campaign, “Red Roof loves country road trips,” as well as the address of a Web site devoted to the campaign.
“We wanted more of a guerrilla or viral campaign, something that would get a buzz,” said Joseph A. Wheeling, chief executive at Red Roof Inns in Columbus, Ohio.
Mr. Wheeling described himself as a country fan who likes performers like the singer George Strait.
“I grew up on a ranch in Montana,” he said, and although “I try not to influence us from a business or management perspective based on who I am,” when Hill & Knowlton/Samcor “came to us with this idea, it was, ‘No doubt, this is our customer.’ ”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.