Hotels.com is taking its Claymation mascots (and a live-action stuntman) to the extreme to showcase the company's mobile booking application with a new multimedia marketing campaign, featuring a stuntman booking a hotel while falling through the air at 115 mph.
In a new multimedia marketing campaign, the Dallas-based company has partnered with extreme athlete and stuntman JT Holmes for an on the fly (literally) demonstration, booking a hotel while in free-fall.
In a live-action video available on YouTube, while flying 15,000 feet above Lake Tahoe, Holmes says he's going to book a room at a hotel directly below him while in free-fall, though he admits "it may be late." Upon landing at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino, a hotel employee confirms Holmes' just-booked reservation.
The stunt is replayed in a 30-second commercial featuring Hotels. com's clay-animated spokescharacter, Smart, and a companion, who are shown in mid-free fall booking a room at a hotel below. The commercial being a fictionalized take on a real event, the spokescharacters' landing is a bit smoother than Holmes.
Because production on a clay animated commercial can take several months, the idea was first devised for the commercial, while the real-life stunt came later, says Vic Walia, senior director of North America brand marketing for Hotels.com. "We produced a TV spot, and then we decided that it would be cool if we could do it in live action," Walia tells Marketing Daily. "It's an over-exaggeration of the idea that [using the app] is so easy and quick."
The idea of booking a hotel on the fly was born out of the way many customers are using the app, Walia says. While the company's Hotels.com Web site offers reviews and more commentary, most who are using the months-old app are doing so to book at the last moment (such as a business traveler who needs to stay away an extra day on a sales call).
"The people who are using the app are less about 'show me my options' and more about 'I need to book a hotel now,'" Walia says.
The 30-second commercial will run on broadcast and cable networks, while the live-action video will be available through YouTube and during some pre-roll advertising of Internet videos. The live-action video will also be promoted through the company's e-mail and Internet marketing around the app, Walia says. Both the commercial and the live-action video will be available on a dedicated microsite, www.thesmarterapp.com.