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Holiday Inn Express® Success Story

BuzzFeed and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) partnered to create a video that brings awareness to a unique breakfast offering found only at Holiday Inn Express, fresh pancakes from a one-touch pancake machine!

The Holiday Inn Express® brand strives to be the smart choice for travelers who need a convenient and practical hotel to rest, recharge, and get work done. Understanding that the world is a busy place, the Holiday Inn Express brand makes sure all of the things you need most are within reach!

For the 2015 Stay Smart campaign, the Holiday Inn Express brand aimed to drive brand awareness, consideration and build preference by convincing consumers that it is the smartest choice when considering where to stay when traveling! Understanding its target audience and an insight around their love for breakfast choices, the brand focused on a key point of differentiation–its one touch pancake machine.

“The Holiday Inn Express brand partnership with BuzzFeed continues to validate our belief in the importance of anchoring our campaigns in a strong cultural insight. They absolutely have their fingers on the pulse of what's happening and what's going to happen next.”

- Seth Freeman Brand Marketing Director, Americas Holiday Inn Express® & Candlewood Suites® brands

The Holiday Inn Express brand partnered with BuzzFeed to create an unscripted and funny video, Real Artists Try Pancake Art. The video challenged three artists of various disciplines with the task of turning pancakes batter into edible masterpieces. The video also incorporated the brand’s one-touch pancake machine and the Holiday Inn Express hotel in a unique way to connect pancakes with the Holiday Inn Express brand.

Video Views Exceeded BF Goal!

The “Real Artists Try Pancake Art” video garnered 7.2M+ views across Facebook and YouTube–exceeding the view goal by 409.2%!

And Drove Strong Brand Impact For Favorability and Intent!

BuzzFeed conducted a GfK research study to measure the impact Holiday Inn Express branded content had on users exposed to it. Brand lift is calculated as the difference between the control and exposed groups stated as a percentage. The Holiday Inn Express GfK research results revealed that the branded content drove significant brand lift in both favorability and intent!

Viewers Were More Likely To Take Action!

In an effort to understand the creative and advertising effectiveness of the Holiday Inn Express brand’s “Real Artists Try Pancake Art” video, BuzzFeed conducted an AceMetrix research study. Results showed that 3 out of 4 viewers were more likely to take action with sharing on social platforms, telling friends about the ad or searching online.

The “Real Artists Try Pancake Art” Video Resonated With Viewers.

On average, YouTube viewers watched nearly 90% of the video–proving that the DIY and humorous theme resonated with viewers.

And Drove Social Engagements!

The Holiday Inn Express co-branded video drove 93K+ social engagements (likes, comments, and shares). High engagement also led to a low CPV of 0.05¢!

By partnering with BuzzFeed to create the "Real Artist Try Pancake Art" video, the Holiday Inn Express brand scored significantly higher than norms across all metrics. GfK research results revealed that the branded video drove significant brand lift and successfully communicated key attributes around pancakes and breakfast variety. Furthermore, Ace Metrix results also revealed that viewers found the video to be both interesting and creative and felt compelled to discuss, share and search online–driving engagement and conversation by showing the Holiday Inn Express brand is “Smart Where It Matters”.

“We definitely expected to see great results in partnering with BuzzFeed to create the pancake art video, but the organic reach we generated in incremental video views through sharing far exceeded our expectations.”

- Seth Freeman, Brand Marketing Director, Americas Holiday Inn Express® & Candlewood Suites® brands