Brands in the economy lodging category generally lack differentiation, leaving travelers to pick where they stay based purely on location, price, and amenities. But even with the highest brand awareness in the category, Motel 6 was not converting as many guests as they could due to low preference numbers compared to competitors. This challenge became even greater as the winter months approached, since the season traditionally sees slower visitation across the category.
This led to our primary objective: to increase Motel 6 revenue and direct bookings during the winter season.
To inspire more post-holiday travel and our audience to choose Motel 6 for their stay, we needed to shift perception of the Motel 6 brand among guests to build a deeper, emotional connection. This established our secondary objective: to increase perception and positive sentiment of the Motel 6 brand.
Despite Motel 6’s budget-conscious guests having less disposable income, we uncovered a surprising data point about them: they’re 5x more likely than the general population to be interested in skiing - a sport infamous for being expensive, from gear to lodging to lift tickets.
While our Economy Movers crave the mountains during the winter months, most have been priced off the slopes. This inspired our idea to position Motel 6 as the brand that champions “Ski for All”, making the mountains more accessible for everyone to enjoy.
To bring our “Ski for All” story to life, we partnered with longtime Motel 6 guest and legendary ski bum, Joe Miron. Joe’s been skiing on a budget for 50+ years, making Motel 6 his go-to mountain lodge and averaging no less than 35+ resorts each season. Joe is living proof that no mountain is out of range, or budget, if you stay at Motel 6.
The ‘Ski For All’ campaign was brought to life through paid, owned, and earned amplification:
Video: We captured Joe’s travel story during the winter ski season in a longform docu-style video with :30, :15 and :06-second cutdowns, turning Tom Bodett, our iconic spokesmen, into a true storyteller. Joe’s story was also told through Spanish cut downs and transcreation.
Radio: Our radio spot further inspired ‘ski bums’ and aspiring skiers everywhere to take a winter ski trip this year.
Social: Our social content shared budget-friendly tips from Joe about how to make every ski trip more affordable, as well as editorial, long-form stories about Joe’s adventures and the snow-filled life of his dog, Kelo.
PR & Partnerships: Two partnerships helped make skiing even more accessible for guests, gaining national earned media attention:
IndyPass: A collection of independent resorts that believe the larger mountains have made skiing unaffordable. The partnership offered My6 members 10% off season passes, and existing IndyPass holders 10% off their Motel 6 stay.
Share Winter Foundation: An organization that aims to empower a diverse community of youth through the joy of skiing. Motel 6 sponsored a winter full of ski trips for 50 kids who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity.
Additional Tactics: In addition, PR, display, Motel6.com, and comms to email subscribers were also leveraged, further touting the Motel 6 mission to make skiing more accessible.
The Ski For All campaign was a huge success, driving unprecedented winter business for Motel 6 including:
+20% in overall revenue (462 bps above chain) for ski-resort adjacent properties, contributing to a +15% in overall business revenue YoY.
+52% in the all-important direct website bookings (2000 bps above chain) for ski resort-adjacent properties, contributing to a +36% in direct bookings YoY for the business overall.
174MM earned impressions across 2,600+ placements, including standout coverage in an NBC broadcast Olympic Zone segment during the 2022 Winter Games.
9.6% average engagement rate on Instagram (30% higher than benchmark) helped to shift perception and +19K organic impressions on Ski For All posts across our social channels.
All proving Motel 6 helped to make ski trips possible for budget-travelers this winter.