Travelodge wants to tap into the ‘Lidl effect’ as it launches its biggest ever campaign

Travelodge is launching its biggest brand campaign to date in a bid to benefit from the current affinity for value brands and attract a larger business crowd to its hotels.

The £26m campaign is “an evolution” of its ‘Travelodgical’ campaign that it launched in May last year, and will be shown on TV this weekend. The ad features two puppets Alex and Kate, sing about what makes Travelodge the logical choice when staying away for business. It will also be supported on commercial radio, digital, press and OOH. The campaign will run until the end of this year.

While last year’s advert focused on showing off the new upgraded rooms as part of the company’s £100m redevelopment plan, the brand’s marketing director Karen Broughton told Marketing Week that this campaign aims to show off its service element as well as appeal to a larger business audience.

She said: “We want to take the opportunity to show more of the hotel, the improvements that we’ve made as well as reinforce our service message. It’s showing more of that journey. While we’re well known as a brand for leisure, this ad has a stronger focus on business too.”

Broughton says that the brand is currently benefiting from a widespread appreciation for value brands such as Lidl, which is seen for good value as well as high quality.

“Value brands are having their moment now. Brands like Zara, Easyjet and Lidl have done a great job of making value brands very appealing. They’re not seen as cheap but as a savvy choice, which is where we operate. The classic middle class is shopping in Lidl and proud of it. We see this as well as a brand,” she added.

The success of the puppets

Last year’s campaign featured a number of different puppet characters, including Alex the businessman. For this campaign, the brand is adding Kate the businesswoman into the mix. According to Broughton, the puppets proved to be very successful for the brand.

“We explored whether people recognised the campaign and know its Travelodge, which we scored very highly on because of the puppets. So we wanted to keep that core element.

“We also have more people considering Travelodge as their brand of choice and we have a better image when it comes to brand quality. There have been rises in people’s perceptions of us offering a great value product.”

Moving away from its “motorway image”

With this campaign the brand is also keen to move away from its “motorway” image and promote its new central locations.

She explained: “Part of talking about our hotel experience, which links to our business message, is that we have numerous central locations. It’s to shift the perception where people think Travelodge only appears on the side of motorways – we’re actually in some fantastic locations.”

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