Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Extended Stay Hotels: A Windy Approach to Advertising

A new ad campaign from Extended Stay Hotels is apparently hoping to put the wind in their sales. If you haven’t seen the new spot, it’s basically a series of moments of blissed-out individuals passing gas all over their hotel rooms…in the hall, in the laundry area, on their pillow, in the chairs, etc. followed by the tagline: “No place makes you feel more comfortable.”

At this writing, this website and this one have the spot posted for your viewing pleasure.

The Sauce

Okay, as a fan of Blazing Saddles, I have to say that I appreciate a good fart joke. But as a matter of establishing an image or a brand I would seriously question whether I would want my client to be known as “the smelliest hotel.”

Honestly, we all pass gas, but do you really want to stay at a hotel that is so obviously “in your face" about it. (Literally in your face if people are farting on pillows. Ewwww. There, I said it.)

I think Extended Stay is a good hotel chain—I have stayed in one in my travels. Heck, I probably even broke wind in there, but: I didn’t advertise it when I did, and by the same token, neither should they.

A guest’s comfort in a hotel is a key marketing message, hence the marketing of plush beds, room service, swimming pools, concierge services, etc. But what’s next? Extended Stay Hotels: We’re So Comfortable We Even Have Toilet Paper? Spare me that visual.

I called Extended Stay’s corporate offices for a comment, but I got blown off.

Let's be clear about this: being edgy, clever and fun are important in rising above the fray in today’s media mix. There are also those who say that any publicity is good publicity. However, there’s a line—ever vanishing, but it’s still there—called good taste. Extended Stay has crossed that line, and this ad campaign has overstayed its welcome.

I’d say it’s time for Extended Stay to pass on future use of this theme. It could have a silent but deadly effect on sales. Guests could literally be gone with the wind.

The Comment section is open for your remarks...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That seems a little unfortunate.