Golf is known as a quiet sport (witness the “golf clap”). So what better way to promote a hotel’s new services such as quiet floors and aromatherapy, than by using a professional golfer to endorse your product? In this case, IHG’s Crowne Plaza is using PGA Tour member Rickie Fowler to tout its new amenities designed for a more restful stay.
In his second year as the golfing face of Crowne Plaza, Fowler appears in television, web and print ads touting two programs that have become core to the brand’s strategic repositioning: the Sleep Advantage program (which includes signature bedding and guaranteed wake-up calls, in addition to the private floors and aromatherapy) and its One Step Ahead service program.
“We’ve filmed two spots that are about what we do at Crowne Plaza hotels to enable our guests to meet their personal goals when they're traveling for business,” Gina LaBarre, vice president, Americas brand management of upscale brands at IHG, tells Marketing Daily. “Rickie is also the perfect example of our target guest, someone who has achieved success in their career but is striving for more.”
In the new ads, Fowler showcases Crowne Plaza’s amenities through the lens of his experiences on the PGA Tour. In one television commercial, Fowler signs an endless amount of autographs on auto-pilot (including signing a woman’s tablet and a baby’s forehead), until finally getting a respite in his hotel bed. A second commercial features Fowler getting assistance from the hotel staff as he navigates amenities such as the breakfast buffet, room locations and even supplying a photograph of a golf hole as he practices putting.
The commercials end with the line, “We’ll help you on your way,” and a notation that IHG is an official hotel of the PGA Tour. Being part of the tour is an important aspect in attracting the business travelers, which are Crowne Plaza’s bread and butter, LaBarre says.
“Golf courses have a storied history as informal meeting places, which aligns well with the Crowne Plaza brand’s focus on providing a better meeting experience for our guests,” she says. “Meetings are a big part of our guests’ lives, whether that takes place in one of our hotels or on a golf course, so it's a natural fit.”
The television commercials will run during golf programming on CBS and on the Golf Channel from April 20 through Aug. 4, when Crowne Plaza will be the title sponsor of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.