Hotel Online  Special Report

Red Lion Hotels to Create a “Brand Mascot”
Using the Lion Character


Spokane, WA -- June 1, 2004 - West Coast Hospitality Corporation, representing Red Lion Hotels and WestCoast Hotels in the U.S. and Canada, has unveiled a new advertising and marketing campaign for Red Lion Hotels that will launch this June in a series of print ads.  WestCoast Hospitality retained ISM Boston, an advertising agency specializing in the travel industry, to develop a new contemporary brand image for the Red Lion brand. Built around the tag line “Stay Comfortable”, the campaign uses an illustrated lion that helps to portray the guest’s experience when they stay at a Red Lion Hotel.

“Most hotel advertising looks the same and says essentially the same thing,” explained Barry Hughes, Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for WestCoast Hospitality. “Our challenge was to create something distinctive that is true to the spirit of our brand and also resonates with our customers.” 

With the illustrated character, Red Lion Hotels plans to create a “brand mascot” that will eventually be featured on everything from the hotel vans and collateral materials, to websites and roadside billboards. “In the focus groups and testing we did, the lion continually won out over more traditional advertising,” said Hughes, “Travelers thought the lion character made the advertising more fun and attention getting, helped to better capture and define the personality of the brand, and, when combined with the accompanying tag line of ‘Stay Comfortable’, it created a really effective way to convey the brand’s core messages of comfort and value.”

The campaign will break in daily newspapers and regional editions of USA Today in key markets for Red Lion Hotels, including Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, Dallas and Houston.  First among the messages communicated in the campaign will be the launch of WestCoast Hospitality’s new free “Net4Guests” high-speed wireless Internet access, available in participating Red Lion and WestCoast Hotels.

“The mid-priced hotel category is extremely competitive and customers have a very hard time distinguishing one brand from another,” stated Gary Leopold, President and CEO of ISM.  “With this lion character, I think we have created something that is literally a personification of the Red Lion brand.  It has infinite applications and enormous flexibility, and we plan to have a lot of fun weaving this character into the brand experience.”

WestCoast Hospitality Corporation is a hospitality and leisure company primarily engaged in the ownership, management, development and franchising of mid-scale, full service hotels under its WestCoast® and Red Lion® brands.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities law, including statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, projections of future events or performance and underlying assumptions (many of which are based, in turn upon further assumptions). 

WestCoast Hospitality Corporation
Linda Anderson
Vice President, Marketing
Phone:  1-509-777-6337
Also See: R/H/A/S Creates New Spins in the Red Lion Lion Logo / Sept 1999

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