Will Attempt to Spark the Nostalgia of Baby Boomers for
Ramada's National Advertising Campaign
|PARSIPPANY, N.J., May 23, 2001 - Mr. Bill, the superstar animated clay
character famous for his misadventures on the long-running television show,
Saturday Night Live, will check into Ramada® hotels all across the
United States and Canada this summer for a fun-filled promotion.
Walter Williams, the creator and continuing force of Mr. Bill, joined with the Ramada brand's advertising agency, Impax Marketing Group of Philadelphia, to write, design and produce the high-profile national campaign, which will air on television and in newspapers and magazines.
Steve Belmonte, Ramada president & chief executive officer, said the campaign will ``not only deliver the message that Ramada is a good choice and a great value, but also will entertain consumers in a humorous way. I have no doubt that this unique, memorable campaign will grab consumers' attention.''
Tim Pigsley, Ramada vice president of marketing, said Mr. Bill's ``edgy'' comedy will ``cut through the clutter'' of other summer promotions. "Sometimes it's tough to tell the difference between the hundreds of redundant hotel commercials relying on the same picture-postcard images,'' he said. "With these memorable spots, we will spark the nostalgia of baby boomers, among others.''
Pigsley said baby boomers, the target audience, "fondly will recall Mr. Bill, as well as family trips to the Ramada hotels of their youth.''
The promotion will feature free activity books for kids filled with games, puzzles, stories and stickers, among other fun items. Adults who spend four nights or more at Ramada this summer are eligible to receive a free DVD video disk by mail that features classic Mr. Bill television episodes.
To jump start the campaign, Ramada will spend nearly $3 million during the month of June to attract television viewers making decisions about their summer vacations.
In the two summer commercials, Mr. Bill embarks on a summer misadventure with his family, including his wife, Sally, his son, Billy, and his trusty little dog, Spot. His arch-nemesis, Sluggo, also appears in the spots, along with Mr. Hands, who moves Mr. Bill and his family from one debacle to the next.
The theme of the two fall commercials, scheduled to air after Labor Day, is "Go With What You Know,'' which capitalizes on the brand's top-of-mind consumer awareness.
Belmonte noted that as new hotel brands come and go, travelers find some degree of comfort from the familiar chains including the Ramada brand. "People don't want to risk their precious vacations by staying at a fly-by-night hotel with no history,'' he said.
"Conversely, Ramada is a known commodity, a brand that has been a staple of the American lodging landscape for more than 45 years.''
According to a study by D. K. Shifflet, the Ramada chain ranks number three in unaided brand awareness among mid-tier chains. Ramada Franchise Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD - news), is a mid- to upper-mid market chain of nearly 1,000 Ramada Limited, Inn, and Plaza Hotel properties throughout the United States.
Ramada Franchise Systems Inc.
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