For over 60 years, Motel 6 has been there for anyone traveling on a budget because they believe that everyone should have the right to travel. This core belief also extends to pets, which is why pets always stay free at Motel 6. Yet, despite Motel 6 guests over indexing as pet parents, many aren’t aware of the brand’s Pets Stay Free policy.
This led to our primary objective: to increase awareness that pets stay free at Motel 6, as well as shift perception of the brand via positive social sentiment as a pet-friendly place to stay. We also had a secondary objective to increase bookings.
In order to achieve these objectives, we uncovered a timely insight: that over 23 million U.S. households have welcomed a new pet to their homes over the last year. While many of these new furry friends had explored every inch of their homes, from bathrooms to backyards, they had yet to see and experience the world around them.
Travel and pets are two of the most important things in our guests' lives. But with the additional fees other hotels charge, bringing their pets along for the adventure isn’t always possible. Motel 6 had the opportunity to be the brand that helped pet parents give their furry friends a chance to see the world, too. So we positioned Motel 6 as the "Proud Sponsor of Pets™" to help them get out and see all the wonders the world has to offer.
Across campaign touchpoints, Motel 6 thanked the unsung, furry heroes in our guests’ lives, who don’t get much praise beyond the occasional can of tuna or peanut butter treat. We celebrated the undeniable love and companionship pets provide, and reminded our guests that their goodest boys and girls deserve to travel, too.
The Proud Sponsor of Pets™ campaign was brought to life through paid, owned and earned amplification. Each channel was used in a specific way to strengthen the overall messaging that encouraged guests to take their pets on the road.
Video: A stirring longform film (with cat-only and dog-only cutdowns as well as Spanish transcreation versions) thanked pets and encouraged owners to bring them along on their next trip. The spots were featured as a choose-your-own-ADventure on Hulu targeting pet owners with the age-old debate: are you a dog or cat person?
Radio: Dog and cat-specific radio spots where iconic spokesman Tom Bodett talked to listeners like they talk to their pets. “Just wike dis!”
PR & Partnerships: We partnered with Sperling’s Best Places to identify top pet-friendly road trip destinations across the U.S and leveraged National Pet Month, National Pet Day, and National Dog Day to extend the story’s timeliness and achieve widespread national earned coverage. These stories also highlighted Motel 6’s long-time partner, Patriot Paws, a non-profit organization that matches dogs to families that need their love the most.
Social: Our social content celebrated our furry friends with stories about real pets who stay at Motel 6.
Spotify: We curated a pet roadtrip playlist with tracks that were scientifically designed to lower pet’s heart rates, making them less anxious while on the road.
Additional Tactics: The campaign was rounded out with digital display, email and a landing page on Motel6.com that featured a map of all the top pet-friendly destinations, as proven by Motel 6’s primary research.
The integrated, national campaign successfully increased awareness of Motel 6 as the Proud Sponsor of Pets™, receiving over a billion earned impressions, plus nearly 10 million paid impressions. In addition, the brand saw a doubling of positive social sentiment around pets and the Motel 6 brand, further shifting perception as the pet-friendliest place to stay. And finally, Motel 6 saw an increase in year-over-year sales — proving that when you make Motel 6 an appealing destination for pet parents, you make it an appealing destination for all.
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