The budget hotel chain, owned by Whitbread, previously concentrated on the proposition ‘Everything’s Premier but the Price’. The good night’s sleep guarantee has been part of its offer for some years but has not been the key message.
The new strategy begins with Premier Inn’s first 60-second TV advertisement on Thursday (8 March) after a sneak preview on Facebook on Wednesday.
The budget hotel sector is fiercely competitive and includes chains such as Travelodge, Accor and Express By Holiday Inn. Premier Inn hopes the shift in marketing focus will give it a point of difference and help create an emotional connection with customers.
The campaign comes hot on the heels of recent Whitbread results that show Premier Inn, while still a strong performer, registering a 0.9% drop in like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks to February.
Revenue per available room was also down 3% on the same period last year.
The new campaign still features brand ambassador Lenny Henry and highlights the quality of the rooms and comfortable beds. It also features hotel staff’s interactions with their guests and was filmed at Premier Inn’s newly opened Heathrow Terminal 5 site.
It was created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and is scheduled to feature in programmes including Coronation Street.
The chain has 620 hotels compared with closest rival Travelodge, which just opened its 500th at Stratford, London.
Guy Parsons, chief executive of rival Travelodge, recently told Marketing Week that it “owns price” as a marketing tool and is also looking for emotional engagement in its communications. It has been using a teddy bear character called Mr Sleep in its ads but a change of approach is expected soon.