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This campaign has all the right buzzwords -- Tumblr, sharing, and stories -- but are these things going to make a new traveler consider Holiday Inn for the first time?

Millions of people have stayed at Holiday Inn, but those guests probably don’t know who’s staying in the room next to them.

And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the hotel’s new digital-first brand campaign, “Journey to Extraordinary,” works to fix this and showcase the diversity of guests who walk through Holiday Inns around the world each day.

Maurice Cooper, vice president of Holiday Inn Brand, Americas tells Skift that keeping guests’ stories at the center of its new marketing strategy is the key to Holiday Inn remaining competitive long-term.

Holiday Inn partnered with Tumblr for it’s multi-platform design to help display the emotional element of guests’ stories in an unscripted documentary style.

“Tumblr works well because it already has a built-in audience and it accommodates our content very fluently,” said Jason Aspes, Ogilvy & Mather’s global group creative director who helped design the campaign. “Our guests trust Tumblr for relevant info. So it made sense to go where our guests already are.”

Hotels such as Hampton have launched their own brand campaigns aimed at highlighting guests stories, but Holiday Inn’s Tumblr seems more visually appealing than Hampton’s YouTube page and more clearly demonstrates the uniqueness of guests.

“We’ve been a leader in the industry for 62 years, when we launched our ‘Change Your View’ campaign last year it was meant to show how we’ve evolved since we first opened, and ‘Journey to Extraordinary’ continues to build on that,” said Cooper.

“This year is about the people who stay at Holiday Inn, whereas with our last campaign we were focused on changing the perception people have of Holiday Inn in general,” said Aspes.

Since the hotel release its videos on YouTube in June it has had “millions of views,” according to Cooper. The most popular tells the story of Scott Rigsby, a double amputee, who stayed at a Holiday Inn while his prosthetic legs were being made and received help from staff.

Cooper argues that launching a Tumblr campaign is more about connecting across demographics rather than reaching the younger millennial set.

“It’s critical to deliver compelling messages to reach guests of all different backgrounds to show them Holiday Inn is right for them,” said Cooper. “We want guests to really see themselves in this campaign, that’s extremely powerful.”

The hotel also partnered with Nonfiction Unlimited, International New York Times, Mashable and MBAs Across America and worked with photographers Chris Ozer and Scott Borrero to produce the content.

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Tags: branding, holiday inn, tumblr

Photo credit: Holiday Inn's new "Journey To Extraordinary" campaign shows the diversity of guests who stay at the hotel every day. Holiday Inn

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