Choice Hotels, "Yelping Out Way To The Official Hotel of Summer,"GOLD

Choice Hotels, "Yelping Out Way To The Official Hotel of Summer," Havas Media (Local)

For Choice Hotels, summer is a key period for bookings and overall business. The challenge is that the same holds true for everyone else within the hotel space, and competitors are in market at the same time with messaging pushing special offers. They needed a creative media strategy to differentiate them from the competitive set and drive ROI. The challenge was to stand out from the competition during busy summer months – a key period for Choice bookings and overall business. Choice Hotel’s strongest asset is the fact that they have properties in nearly every US DMA, from small towns to large cities. They have locations everywhere you would want to go, either as a stop along the way or at your final destination. Choice Hotels knew that their consumers are more likely to drive than fly. And everyone knows that summer is a great time for road trips. As the “Official Hotel of Summer,” Choice Hotels sought to increase consideration and booking intent for by giving users ideas for weekend summer roadtrips. With 4,500 locations nationwide, they needed a partner that had enough content to align with each of these locations. was the perfect choice to help Choice Hotels to provide deeper consumer engagement and association with the brand for travel needs and solutions. Yelp’s audience is highly compatible with the core target and is more likely to visit Yelp reaches consumers are in a contextually relevant frame of mind – searching reviews of restaurants, bars, shows, etc., for upcoming/potential trips. Yelp offered over 100MM monthly uniques, extreme flexibility on custom sponsorship, and in partnership with Yelp, Choice Hotels designed an innovative new digital tool to help leisure travelers plan fun and affordable summer road trips across America. The "Official Hotel of Summer Road Trip Guide” was born and provided access to otherwise unattainable inventory. The Choice Hotels Official Hotel of Summer Road Trip Guide integrates Yelp's trusted local reviews into a custom-content and sweepstakes platform. The handy guide was designed to help leisure travelers plan unique road trips during the summer months, highlighting nearby Choice Hotels brand properties along the way. They worked with Yelp to identify 25 point-of-origin DMAs. From there, three destinations were chosen that would be a 3-5 hour drive (long enough so that you’d need an overnight stay) from the original DMA. Users could also input their point of origin and destination for a more customized experience. To further drive the “Official Hotel of Summer” designation home, each route highlighted Americana points, restaurants, ice cream stops, and outdoor activities, while seamlessly adding Choice locations. Users could share their experience across various social channels and enter a contest to win their own ultimate road trip, with prizing to include hotel vouchers, car rentals, spending money, GPS, and more. The Summer Road Trip Guide was promoted across Yelp with co-branded units, newsletters, and PR. The various Yelp community managers across the country were also using social media to get the word out to their followers as well. Performing at 13% ahead of projections, Choice Hotels mapped 12,569 routes and collected 33,000 sweepstake entries. As icing on the cake, the campaign received press coverage from MediaPost,, Hotel Interactive, Travel Daily News, The Street, and more.