One of my biggest concerns for our fair industry is that hotels are losing the war for “share of mind” against the OTAs. I’m coming at this from a biased point of view as I was born into the marketing world straight out of MBA school and have worked for some of the largest advertisers in the field, notably Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo. But, it’s nonetheless a losing battle.
You have to apply the old marketing adage: share of voice (e.g., advertising) ultimately equals share of mind (e.g., conscious awareness, subconscious desire, intent to purchase, etc.). I’m reminded of the chapter of George Orwell’s seminal novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” where the protagonist is systematically brainwashed into believing 2+2=5. Scary, but true. If all people see are advertisements for the various OTAs, eventually those are the only brands customers will know and trust when they want to book a hotel room.
That’s why it warms my heart to see a major chain doing something that’s simple and effective as well as in touch with the way the world is moving. The advertisement in question is a short clip entitled “Change Your View” from Holiday Inn.
Let’s review some of what’s done right in this ad:
- It’s quick! One minute and not a second more — perfect for capturing the ADHD-crazed demographics that browse YouTube.
- It’s inspirational, celebrating the company’s decades of experience in making people’s lives better through clips of happy families, brisk workouts, productive business meetings and social dining.
- It’s not about price! It’s an emotional, branding sale.
After watching this video, tell me seriously that you don’t think better of the Holiday Inn brand name. Because I highly doubt that. Bravo to IHG, its parent company.
We need more advertisements like this. And we need them now. Hotels need to fight back against the OTAs, and to do that, they need to boost their share of mind. So, if you are in the position to advertise — even if it’s just on YouTube — what are you waiting for?
(Article published by Larry Mogelonsky in HOTELSmag on September 4, 2013)