Holiday Inn recently released a new campaign which is gaining lots of praise across China.

The brand sought to freshen up its image and wanted a campaign that would speak to a clientele split equally between business travelers and families. The campaign also had to make the brand’s global proposition about “the joy of travel for everyone” resonate in China and stand out creatively in a country where tourism has exploded and people are being exposed to more hotel brands.

The result is a film about a business traveler and a family traveler who are the same person – the mom.

The solution was actually inspired by the personal experience of the brand’s chief marketer. Emily Chang, Greater China chief commercial officer for the parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group, told a story about getting heart-rending messages from her daughter during business trips. So Ms. Chang surprised her – instead of taking her to a piano lesson, they went for an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn.

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“We often talk about this phrase, ‘Work-life balance.’ It’s interesting because that depicts the seesaw, work’s on one side, life’s on the other,” Ms. Chang said. “I think for these travelers, they’re not one or the other, they’re fully integrated.”

The film also resonates in a country where working moms are the norm (and where, like everywhere, mothers are conflicted about whether they’re spending enough quality time with their kids.) About 72% of Chinese women ages 25-34 with children under age 6 are employed, according to the All-China Women’s Federation.

The video is being pushed out online, and the brand also bought airtime during some of the most-watched Chinese TV shows, singing contest “The Voice of China” and “Dad, Where Are We Going?” a reality show about celebrity dads roughing it in rural locations with their kids. Because both those shows feature real, personal stories, the brand thought they would catch consumers in the right frame of mind to receive Holiday Inn’s message.

See the video and full story from AdAge here.

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