PARSIPPANY, NJ: Days Inn has named Olson Engage its PR AOR in the U.S., following a competitive pitch.
Kathryn Zambito, director of global communications for Days Inn parent Wyndham Hotel Group, said the hotel chain is out to shift consumers’ perceptions. It also wants to increase room bookings and position Days Inn in a new light as "the leading economy hotel brand making every day brighter for guests and encouraging them to seize every day."
Zambito explained that most consumers know the Days Inn brand, but "many may not truly know what the brand is about, and how it’s relevant to today’s travelers," she said.
Olson worked on Days Inn’s brand integration at the Academy Awards ceremony this month, when host Jimmy Kimmel said the winner with the shortest acceptance speech would get to stay at a Days Inn Lake Havasu hotel. The chain later tweeted an offer for nominees who didn’t win a statuette.
The Oscars offer was Olson’s first executed project for Days Inn, but year-long campaign planning is underway, said Steve Peckham, GM and SVP at Olson Engage, via email. The RFP process started in October and Olson was selected in December. There was no incumbent AOR.
"In searching for an agency partner, we sought a creative team that could make an iconic brand like Days Inn shine bright in a new light," said Zambito. "The quick-thinking execution around our Days Inn Oscars offer is a prime example of the headline-driving, nimble approach Olson Engage brought to the pitch."
Olson Engage is supporting Days Inn with strategic communications consulting, media relations, and experiential marketing. Additionally, the firm is focusing on "right time engagement," which Peckham defined as Olson’s take on real-time marketing. He explained that finding the right time to activate is more important than focusing on real-time.
"We don’t think it’s about setting up a war room on Super Bowl Sunday anymore, just waiting for a brand opportunity to happen and then working it in real-time," he said. "Our approach is to be constantly monitoring pop culture for opportunities to insert brands into interesting moments in legitimately compelling ways."
Olson VP Shannon Lovich is the business lead, with Sarah Brown, account supervisor, as the day-to-day lead. Budget information was not disclosed.
Super 8, another Wyndham Hotel Group brand, recently hired Citizen Relations as its PR AOR.