Urging business travelers to "master the long trip," the four TV ads feature circus types--a contortionist, a trapeze artist, a plate spinner and a fire breather--as "endurance" travelers who find everything they need at Residence Inn.
The company hopes the ads will show off what it calls its new "Innfusion" décor. They focus on the room zones that appeal most to extended-stay guests--cooking, dining, working, relaxing and sleeping. Room updates include stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in kitchens, as well as more luxurious living areas. The ads, which feature European performers, are by mcgarrybowen of New York, and will appear in print and online in addition to TV.
The new positioning comes at a challenging time for the business travel segment. While business travel is on the rise, so is the number of rooms--resulting in lower occupancy rates, according to a spokesperson for Smith Travel Research, a Henderson, Tenn.-based company that tracks travel trends. Through May of this year, demand has increased 0.6% over the same period last year, but the supply has increased 1.2%.
Occupancy rates are under even more pressure lower in the upscale category, which Smith says includes such chains as Courtyard, Crowne Plaza, Four Points and Hilton Garden Inn as well as Residence Inn. Through May of this year, the occupancy rates at such hotels have fallen 1.7%, to 69%.