The Holiday Inn Express® Brand Partners with Comedian Jim Gaffigan and Funny or Die to Launch Next Evolution of Stay Smart® Campaign


Atlanta – WEBWIRE – Thursday, September 04, 2014

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) today announced the next evolution of its Holiday Inn Express® brand’s Stay Smart® campaign to run exclusively on digital channels, a first for the brand, in order to continue meeting the needs of its guests’ on-the-go lifestyle. This year’s campaign includes collaborations with comedian and author Jim Gaffigan, popular comedy video website Funny Or Die, and Funny Or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, all of which help bring how smart it feels to stay in a  Holiday Inn Express hotel to life in a humorous way.

“The Holiday Inn Express® brand believes humor and smart-wit are synonymous, so we see our collaboration with Funny Or Die as the perfect vehicle for the brand to continue to engage with consumers,” said Jennifer Gribble, vice president, Holiday Inn Express brand, Americas, IHG. “We also wanted to team-up with a well-known comedian whose style of comedy would resonate with our guests, and could help deliver the Stay Smart® message in an amusing and engaging way, which is why Jim Gaffigan was the ideal fit for the brand.”

Jim Gaffigan, who is one of the featured comedians on the Oddball Comedy Festival tour, collaborated with the Holiday Inn Express brand to create new, original content which plays up the next evolution of the Stay Smart campaign tagline – “Did anyone stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel last night?” Gaffigan’s videos will debut on Funny Or Die, the award-wining top destination for comedy on the web, reaching millions of viewers, as well as on the Holiday Inn Express brand’s digital channels including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

“My family and I have stayed at many Holiday Inn Express® hotels while on tour, so I was excited when they asked me to partner with them on their Stay Smart® campaign,” said Jim Gaffigan. “I only had two questions before I agreed to collaborate with them – were they ready for one of the greatest comedic performances of all time, and how many cinnamon rolls were at my disposal while on set? Their reply was absolutely, and seven.”

The Holiday Inn Express® brand is also working with digital sites including Buzzfeed, Wired, Pandora and Spotify to launch new Stay Smart® content, as well as a series of video shorts debuting across the brand’s social media channels. Each video features a comedic scenario where the protagonist – from an astronaut to a trapeze artist – gets into a situation where they need to solve a problem, and ask the question “Did anyone stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel last night?” in order to get the help they need that only a  Holiday Inn Express guest could offer.

Funny Or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival
As the official Stay Smart partner of Funny Or Die’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, the Holiday Inn Express brand is engaging directly with consumers through a humorous platform that perfectly aligns with the brand’s personality. The brand has taken key elements of its hotel experience and brought it to life in a fun way for consumers at the festival, and is also using digital channels such as Twitter to communicate with guests directly about the on-site experiences at each show.

At all 20 Oddball Festival shows, the Holiday Inn Express brand will provide festival attendees with free on-site experiences which invite consumers to be part of the Stay Smart campaign and experience the brand in a unique way. “Express Check-In” allows attendees to bypass the long check-in lines, relax in a Holiday Inn Express branded area pre-show and have a chance to upgrade their ticket via “Express Instant Seat Upgrade.” Attendees can follow @OddballFest on Twitter to get details for each show. “Room With a View” lets four lucky fans in each market experience the laughs up close, with front-row viewing, plush Holiday Inn Express branded seats, free food and drinks and VIP access. Fans can enter for a chance to win “Room With a View” tickets by visiting OddballFest.com.

About the Holiday Inn Express® brand
Holiday Inn Express® hotels are modern hotels for value-oriented travelers.  Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers.  Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free hot Express Start™ Breakfast Bar, free high-speed Internet access and free local phone calls (US and Canada only).  There are currently nearly 2,300 Holiday Inn Express hotel locations around the globe.  For more information about Holiday Inn Express hotels or to book reservations, visit www.hiexpress.com. Find us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hiexpress or Facebook www.Facebook.com/holidayinnexpress.

Notes to Editors:

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.

IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with over 80 million members worldwide. The program was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 693,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries, with almost 1,200 hotels in its development pipeline.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.



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