The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Pets Stay Free

Finalist in Pets & Animals


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.

Strategy and Execution

Across social 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 on our social channels through the content series, Pets of Motel 6. Because pets deserve to travel, we highlighted our furry friends as real guests of Motel 6. In this series, we heard from a number of pet travelers. We featured Makalu, the ever adventurous pup who’s always ready for a hike and loves to sing along in the car. There was Anakin, the stand out Yorkie who sits passenger side while his trucker dad hauls across the country. And we couldn’t forget Echo, the orange tabby who’s living a happy, nomadic life with his parents. Because there’s no such thing as a favorite pet, the series is ongoing, bringing more traveling cats and dogs to our follower’s feeds.


Motel 6 successfully shifted perception as the pet-friendliest place to stay, seeing a doubling of positive social sentiment around pets and the brand. The integrated, national campaign successfully increased awareness of Motel 6 as the Proud Sponsor of Pets™ , receiving over a billion earned impressions, in addition to 10 million paid impressions. 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.


Video for Pets Stay Free

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Barkley, Motel 6


Entry Credits