ATLANTA: InterContinental Hotels Group, owner of chains including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a campaign aimed at having consumers share stories and photos from their past.
The initiative kicked off Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee where the children of Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson re-enacted the ribbon cutting ceremony from the first hotel in 1952 and re-created the same photo from 60 years ago.
Jim Anhut, SVP of Americas brand management at InterContinental, said: “The idea behind the campaign is to strike that magical chord that happens when people recollect a memory and, of course, the [Holiday Inn] brand is full of great memories, whether it's wedding receptions, social events, family reunions, or business trips.”
He said the photo that was taken at Wednesday's ribbon cutting is on Holiday Inn's Facebook page, which has more than 150,000 fans, and its Tumblr site. The brand is inviting consumers to post their own “Then & Now” photos until September 30 for a chance to win a week-long vacation at any Holiday Inn location of their choosing.
To raise awareness of the campaign, the brand is working with Weber Shandwick to engage media outlets and bloggers, said Anhut. InterContinental CEO Richard Solomons is also holding interviews with the press to discuss its 60th anniversary and Holiday Inn becoming the first international hotel company to open its 60th hotel in Greater China, he added.
Holiday Inn is also actively using social media to promote the anniversary campaign, including its Twitter account, which has more than 20,500 followers.
The brand is asking consumers to share stories about some of their memorable “first” experiences through Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #celebratefirsts, Anhut said.
From August 1-31, Holiday Inn will select 60 consumers a day that submit photos and stories to win a one-night stay at any of its 3,375 hotels in the world. Anhut said the goal is to convey a message to consumers through storytelling because stories “connect people around the world.”
At the end of August, the brand will select some of the best stories and photos and share them with the public in a variety of ways, he added.