ATLANTA, GA—The world changed for Scott Rigsby at the age of 18 when a car accident caused him to become a double amputee. Told that he would never walk again, he went on to not only walk, but become a marathoner, tri-athlete, world record holder, author and motiivational speaker. Part of his journey included months at the Holiday Inn Resort, Panama City Beach, FL, where he went to get rehabilitation assistance. It was a time of great financial hardship, when the understanding and support of the hotel’s owner, Julie Hilton, helped see him through.
Holiday Inn is using Rigsby’s tale as a Signature Story in its new digital marketing campaign, Journey to Extraordinary. Guaranteed to create a lump in the throat if not actual tears in the viewer, the story videotapes Rigsby now reunited with Hilton.
Journey to Extraordinary is next evolution of last year’s Change Your View platform, which stressed that Holiday Inn has been changing the way people travel for many years, and it continues to change today in order to keep guests comfortable, connected and coming back.
This new campaign celebrates the inspiring journeys of its many guests, by sharing their unique narratives through the brand’s first digitally-led, multimedia marketing approach.
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Maurice Cooper, vice president Holiday Inn Brand, Americas, told CLN the campaign is a powerful extension of the idea that the guests are the centre of everything. “It’s an opportunity to show how Holiday Inn helps enable guests along their journey,” he said.
“It’s a targeted and effective digital-led campaign. Digital platforms are growing up every day—and our guests are there looking for content. The campaign helps guests understand why they should stay at Holiday Inn.
“For more than 62 years, the Holiday Inn brand has played a pivotal role in helping to enable the extraordinary journeys of millions of guests who come through our doors,” said Cooper.
“While they may find themselves traveling different roads in life, there is always a Holiday Inn hotel to meet the needs of our guests and help them move forward on their journey. Each of our guests have a unique connection to the brand and their own story to tell, which the Journey to Extraordinary campaign creatively celebrates, while hopefully inspiring fresh ones along the way.”
Holiday Inn has partnered with organizations such as Tumblr, Nonfiction Unlimited, International New York Times, Mashable and MBAs Across America (MBAxAmerica). The campaign began on July 23, and new content will be rolling out through November 2014, with stories added weekly across the brand’s various digital platforms.
The Holiday Inn brand kicked off its Journey to Extraordinary campaign by producing “Stories from Holiday Inn Hotels,” a series of short videos and social media posts highlighting the unique, stories of real guests at various Holiday Inn hotels. This content was shared on the Holiday Inn brand’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.
To produce Scott’s Signature Story, the Holiday Inn brand teamed up with Nonfiction Unlimited and one of its directors, Stacy Peralta , legendary skateboard professional turned award-winning documentarian, including two Sundance Film Festival awards.
“Scott’s story was serendipitous—Scott was at the airport one day when some of our team members were there—it was a good news story all around and he was happy to tell them about his experience,” Cooper said.
While it’s still early in the campaign, Cooper sees a good level of engagement—the photos and videos on Tumblr have been viewed millions of times.
“The campaign can only help to build the brand—and there are exciting developments to come,” Cooper noted, hinting that there will be some news surrounding the campaign at the IHG North American Investors and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Oct. 27 to 29.