Giants & Gentlemen takes Days Inn to bask with new campaign

Value hotel chain introduces a new brand positioning for the first time in decades

Chris Powell September 19, 2016

Value hotel chain Days Inn is following the sun with a new campaign from Toronto agency Giants & Gentleman (G&G) that is running in both the U.S. and Canada (and potentially the U.K. and China).

The campaign features a new brand positioning, “Bask In the Sun,” which replaces the “Best Value Under the Sun” slogan that has been a mainstay of the Days Inn brand identity for what the company described as “decades.”

While noting the “Best Value Under the Sun” positioning boasted “enormous awareness,” G&G co-founder and chief strategy officer Gino Cantalini said Days Inn parent Wyndham Hotel Group wanted to bring a “fresh, contemporary image” to the brand, while placing less emphasis on the value aspect. “There is so much more to the brand and the properties,” said Cantalini.

The integrated campaign is built around four 30-second TV spots, with the iconic Days Inn sun logo playing a key role in each. “Strategically, the campaign and the tagline ties in perfectly with the tone Days Inn was looking for, and with their primary equity – the sun logo that you see dotted along highways everywhere,” said Cantalini.

“Vampire” shows a woman being terrorized inside a darkened room when her partner opens the front door to reveal the Days Inn sun, instantly turning the vampire to dust. There’s a humorous payoff when the man informs his terrified partner that he’s brought “floaties” for the pool.

Another spot, “Farmer’s Daughter,” features a farmer basking in the glow of the Days Inn sun before being interrupted by a customer asking him for the wifi password. The farmer glances at his comely daughter standing behind him and responds, “Do not look at my daughter. All one word.”

Cantalini said the ads were intended to stand out from the “sea of sameness” that characterizes hotel advertising, with its emphasis on amenities and happy staff members.

“We wanted to provide memorable, engaging creative that only Days Inn could produce,” he said. “The new campaign is intended to create an emotional connection with this storied brand that is bright, fun and light-hearted.”

The spots also reference the “Wyndham Rewards” loyalty program, with Cantalini telling Marketing that loyalty is a “key push” for the company overall. Last year, the company said it planned to invest US$100 million over the next 18 months on its loyalty program.

G&G was awarded the Wyndham Hotel Group business earlier this year on the basis of its relationship with Realstar Hospitality, the brand’s master franchisor in Canada.

G&G’s “Bizcation” business traveler campaign for Realstar won gold in the Best TV Single category at the 2015 Bessies, with the agency  following it up with a pair of spots this year.

Days Inn is the world’s largest value hotel chain, with approximately 1,800 hotels worldwide – roughly 10% of which are in Canada. According to the most recent information from the Hotel Association of Canada, Wyndham Hotel Group is the fourth largest company in Canada’s $17.5 billion hotel industry, with 2014 revenues of $849.9 million.

In addition to TV, the new campaign encompasses social media, out-of-home and digital. Media buying was handled by VMC.