Hotel Online Press Releases 

 Best Western International -
Three Innovative Advertising Programs
Seasonal Family Plan Promotion
Television Advertising that Works
Partnership with Motorsports
"Have a Super Hero Summer "Accolades Continue

Phoenix, Ariz., March 18, 1998 --- Immense popularity and precise design are the explanation behind the many super hero sequels, and the same can be said about Best Western International's seasonal Family Plan promotion "Have a Super Hero Summer." The creative consumer marketing effort continues to be recognized as one of the most innovative promotions in the country.

The Gold Key award as the "Best Consumer Offer," bestowed by the Incentive Manufacturers Representatives Association, Inc. (IRA) is yet another Family Plan accolade. It is a direct result of the tremendous partners who joined forces last summer to "Have a Super Hero Summer" at Best Westerns throughout the country. The premiere list of partners included:

Warner Home Video, DC Comics, United Artist Theaters and AT&T. Fuji Photo Film, which nominated the project, was also involved, as a partner, by offering a choice of four Batman themed collector's edition single-use cameras for all guests who placed Family Plan reservations.

"This recognition, coupled with the World Pro Award we received a few months ago only confirms what I already know," explains Tom Dougherty, Manager, Strategic Partnerships. "Best Western's 'Have a Super Hero Summer' promotion is a standout, not only for the hotel industry, but for any business looking to creatively join a number of distinct products into one fabulous program.

The success of the program can not only be measured by the awards it continues to receive, it may be weighed by the millions of dollars of revenue it generated for the world's largest lodging brand. In fact, the program is so successful, it will be back bigger and better for next summer's promotion. Some of the highlights of the 1998 program include an incredibly unique sweepstakes, and lots of DC Comics Super Heroes.

The purpose of the Incentive Manufacturers representatives Association is to promote the highest professional standards of incentive representation through the education and inter-action of its representative and manufacturer members thereby contributing to the growth, understanding and excellence of the incentive industry. The organization consists of 333 members from 226 organizations.

Best Western Ad Campaign "Has Personality" 
Bell Hop Imagery Captures Consumer Curiosity
Phoenix, Ariz. March 18, l998 - The crisp red uniforms, sharp caps and attention to detail demonstrated by Best Western International's new brandkeepers translate into exceptionally memorable advertising for the world's largest lodging brand.

Affectionately dubbed "the Two Guys," a lanky and a more compact bell hop, play pivotal roles in illustrating the market penetration of Best Western hotels and their highly popular regionalized characteristics and distinctive style. The creative device also underscores that at the brand's nearly 3,800 hotels, personalized service and a warm welcome are assured.

Making its debut just last September, the "Across the street from ordinaryTM," campaign has been credited by independent research as demonstrating qualities truly desired by travelers. These reliable hotel benefits found at Best Westerns include consistency in quality and a memorable visit regardless of whether guests are traveling for leisure or business.

Copy-testing research shows the campaign performs better overall than the consumer mid-scale hotel norms for television advertising. Business travelers, a primary Best Western target, rated the campaign better than the mid-scale hotel norms. The entertainment value and uniqueness of the campaign also rated higher than the mid-scale average. Respondents identified the advertising's key messages and saw them as "highly relevant" to their hotel selection.

"This conceptual approach, coupled with a very imaginative visual presentation, has proven extremely effective for Best Western. The test results are impressive, even in the early stages of the campaign," says Vicki Meyers, managing director, Best Western Advertising. "Our competitive strength is that Best Western hotels are for experience seekers who want the strength and character of an international chain combined with the individuality of the local market."

The tactical approach underscores that Best Westerns are not usual cookie-cutter hotels that offer "bland" sameness in accommodations. Secondarily, the "Across the street from ordinaryTM" tag line conveys that Best Westerns are indeed extraordinarily interesting, and provide the amenities and friendly reception expected at exceptional mid scale hotels. "Quite simply, the combination of messages and visualization drives home the guest-friendly message that Best Western hotels enhance the enjoyment of travel," Meyers says.

To ensure that primary and emerging markets receive exposure, Best Western representatives are maintaining a strong advertising presence. Concentrated broadcasts will occur during "March Madness" sports week and continue through June. Key placements of the Best Western spots include: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.

Canadian television, in English and French, will be a priority with on-air hockey broadcasts and season finales of shows such as Ally McBeal and ER. Other sitcoms, news/current affairs shows and Sunday movies will round-out the media schedule.

Print medium exposure has a decidedly regionalized push to capitalize on Best Western's strong market penetration. In the US and Canada, the year-round focus targets Travel and Leisure, Sunset, National Geographic, various inflight, and state and providence publications. Additionally in Canada, supplemental consumer print, including Canadian Tourism Commission publications will be used.

Future applications of the bellhops incorporate small bits of dialogue to capitalize on the substantiated likeability, playfulness, easy humor and professionalism of the characters.

"Best Western is literally, breaking out of the mold with a campaign that concentrates on consumer interests and capitalizes on brand strengths instead of the hotel industry's present visual trend of staid images of hotel interiors," says Wayne W. Wielgus, Best Western's vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Sales. "Savvy consumers are tired of the same, repetitive messages of renovation and good values. Those traits have long been associated with Best Western hotels, and through our innovative, but logical approach, we are showing that Best Western has unmatched global reach and enormous traveler appeal."

Best Western International is Racing for Business Sake
Phoenix, Ariz., March 18, 1998--- Best Western International, Inc., the world's largest lodging brand, is taking to the nation's race tracks with the announcement of a new motorsports partnership. The industry's hotel leader is now associating with the power of The Pep Boys Indy Racing League with the #99 car of Sam Schmidt and LP Racing, Inc.

"We are leveraging the purchasing power of our hotels to fund a national advertising campaign in motorsports. We have created a 'preferred vendor program' where participating suppliers contribute to our motorsports program," explains Tom Dougherty, manager Strategic Partnerships for Best Western International.

The innovative program was designed for Best Western International by Richard Battaglini of RichRace Marketing. The idea was to create a mutually-beneficial program for all parties.

"Best Western will receive a tremendous amount of national exposure from this partnership," explains Battaglini. "The suppliers will receive increased sales, and everyone gets to enjoy an afternoon at the races with our customers."

Best Western International and LP Racing representatives say they believe in many of the same ideals including stringent quality control standards and excellent customer service. That common bond and marketing savvy persuaded Sam Schmidt and LP Racing to carry the Best Western flag.

Schmidt explains, "Marketing with motorsports is about business. It's about making a profit. We've met with the staff at Best Western and know that their energetic support for this program, combined with ours, will create a sound marketing venture for all involved."

Best Western's motorsports program also encompasses the off-road efforts of Gary Meecham. This is beneficial because off-road racing reaches audiences that main stream racing doesn't. For Best Western it is about having a comprehensive program that provides benefits to the more than 2,200 Best Western hotels in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

"We are looking forward to being a part of Best Western's motorsport family and carrying the Best Western crown into victory circle," says Meecham.

The #99 Best Western Gold Crown Racing Special debuts in the Phoenix 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Practice begins March 20, with qualifying on March 21, and the race, airing live, on ABC Sports on March 22.

Best Western International, Inc., is a membership-driven organization that has supported hoteliers with a variety of services to ensure competitive pricing, quality accommodations and consistent dedication to guest satisfaction for 51 years. Best Western International is the world's largest lodging brand with nearly 3,800 hotels in 76 countries and territories throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the South Pacific.

Visit Best Western International's Web site at


Gillian Silver
Best Western International, Inc.

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