By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
Entries for HSMAI’s 2020 Adrian Awards are now being accepted — with a special focus on best practices, innovation, and community related to hospitality advertising, marketing, and public relations work created in response to the coronavirus crisis. Take some inspiration for next year from one of them: Super 8’s “#JOURNEYSAFE,” which was honored in the Digital Marketing/Digital Campaign/Integrated Market Campaign for Consumers (B2C) category. (View all of last year’s Adrian-winning submissions here.)
BACKGROUND: Driving when tired, or drowsy driving, can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk or distracted, with exhausted drivers being three times more likely to be in a crash than alert drivers. With more than 100,000 accidents each year caused by drowsy driving, Super 8 launched a campaign to raise awareness of this issue and position the brand as a trusted place for drivers to rest and refuel along the highway.
CAMPAIGN: The digital campaign kicked off in New York City during National Sleep Awareness Month in March 2019, with speeches from psychologist and sleep expert Dr. Janet Kennedy, founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, and philanthropist and actor Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays Andrew DeLuca on Grey’s Anatomy, calling on drivers to journey safe and pull over when they need to. The campaign highlighted the dangers of drowsy driving, pointed out Super 8’s many convenient locations that allow travelers to safely rest up, and communicated that “the safer you are, the further you can go.”
Over the following months, the campaign amped up during high-travel periods in the spring and summer via digital video, social media, website, email, and integration with the mobile navigation app Waze. The campaign targeted travelers who spontaneously (with less than three weeks) plan driving trips, drivers who are constantly on the road for business, and families who don’t take risks when they travel but also don’t plan very far in advance. All of the targeted guests are travelers who look for fair prices in a convenient location and want to keep their loved ones safe, and about half are drive-up traffic when going to hotels.
RESULTS: The campaign was a huge success. More than 49,000 Waze users navigated to Super 8 locations via the campaign, exceeding all benchmarks. Within the first month of the website’s launch, more than 13,000 visitors checked it out, while on social media, campaign videos were viewed more than a million times, with more than 20,000 engagements. More than 39 media placements delivered another 110 million impressions.
WHY IT WON: Adrians judges were very impressed with Super 8’s #JOURNEYSAFE. Here is what several of them had to say about why they thought it was the best of the best:
- “Super 8 gets most of their stays from drive-in traffic. They know people are driving long distances and often driving when they’re quite tired. They took that and turned it into a public-interest campaign. They educated people on the stats of drowsy driving, educated them on the consequences of it, and provided a solution.”
- “It connected a core aspect of their business, a great public-service message, and really quality creative as well. It had all the elements of a solid integrated marketing campaign.”
- “The Waze integration, how they were able to demonstrate bookings from their target audience was a differentiator from other entries.”
- “You could only do this in a digital context. It’s not going to work as a print campaign, or a display, or television campaign. Digital is the only way this is going to work, where you’re getting people when they’re mobile, in their car, late at night, and you give them the message in their moment of need. That was really impressive.”