IHG’s New “Guest How You Guest” Ad Campaign

IHG’s New “Guest How You Guest” Ad Campaign

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IHG Hotels & Resorts has today launched its latest global marketing campaign, which is the company’s largest single campaign investment within the last decade.

New ad campaign highlights IHG One Rewards

“Guest How You Guest” is the name of IHG’s new ad campaign, and it’s intended to promote IHG’s loyalty program, as well as the diversity of IHG’s 17 hotel brands. You can initially expect to see this ad campaign in the United States and United Kingdom, everywhere from online, to television ads, to magazines, to billboards, to subway stations.

IHG’s loyalty program was recently relaunched, with the introduction of IHG One Rewards. There’s a lot to like about the new program, including a lucrative new top-tier elite status (IHG One Rewards Diamond), plus the introduction of Milestone Rewards, giving people more flexibility as to how they want to be rewarded.

Here’s how the inspiration for the new campaign is explained:

“The multimillion-dollar Guest How You Guest campaign amplifies true-to-life travel moments and shows how guests can define their own journey at IHG hotels. Whether it’s sports fans staying at a Holiday Inn Express to support their team on the road, a Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants guest taking their work calls poolside, or a couple celebrating with all the room service at an InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property – they all experience the heartfelt care IHG hotels provide. It goes beyond all are welcome; it’s that all are welcomed to be cared for.”

Here’s what Claire Bennett, Global Chief Customer Officer for IHG, had to say:

“When you look around, it’s hard not to notice that travelers are increasingly left to fend for themselves, and that’s simply not what being a guest should feel like. We have a mantra we say at IHG – we’re real people taking care of real people, and Guest How You Guest embodies that. The images and content are engaging and beautiful, but they are also authentic and send a message that you don’t always have to do everything. We’re here to take care of all of you.” 

Below you can see a 30-second spot that’s part of the new campaign.

And below you can see some of the stills that will be used in the campaign.

IHG “Guest How You Guest” campaign
IHG “Guest How You Guest” campaign
IHG “Guest How You Guest” campaign
IHG “Guest How You Guest” campaign
IHG “Guest How You Guest” campaign
IHG “Guest How You Guest” campaign

My take on IHG’s new marketing campaign

Message aside, the campaign certainly feels modern, upbeat, and energetic.

If you ask me, the campaign also feels unnecessarily over-the-top and staged in terms of the “actors” used, to the point that it almost feels unrelatable to me. Quite to the contrary, those Holiday Inn Express sports bros seemingly cheering in the hallway make me want to stay somewhere else.

But maybe I’m in the minority in thinking it’s a bit much, and others enjoy showing up to their hotel stays in a convertible vintage car with dozens of balloons. I’m not sure I personally love this kind of advertising, especially if you’re trying to promote premium brands, but that’s just my personal preference.

Then there’s the question of the substance behind the campaign. IHG claims that nowadays many travelers are left to “fend for themselves,” but that’s not what being a guest should feel like. Is IHG actually different than competitors in that regard?

Is IHG telling a story that reflects reality, or just what it wants consumers to believe? We’ve seen endless cost cutting in the hotel industry during the pandemic. Is IHG better than Hilton or Marriott on that front? I’m not a frequent IHG guest, so OMAAT readers can chime in.

If the ads didn’t explicitly say they were for IHG, I wouldn’t know which hotel group they were from. But maybe that’s the point here — maybe IHG is trying to say “hey, we’re like the other guys, and are a major hotel group worth considering?”

Bottom line

IHG has launched its new ad campaign, “Guest How You Guest.” It’s intended to highlight IHG’s huge variety of brands, and how the new IHG One Rewards loyalty program lets members be rewarded in ways they value most.

I can’t say I love this campaign, personally, but that’s also because I’m generally skeptical when major hotel groups try to claim they’re somehow significantly different than competitors.

What do you make of IHG’s new ad campaign?

Conversations (8)
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  1. Mh Diamond

    What does that line even mean?

    If something doesn't make sense, it doesn't appeal or entice.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      English too difficult to understand?
      ¿Hablas Español?
      Parlez-vous Français?
      क्या आप हिंदी जानती हूँ?
      你会说中文吗?

  2. John Guest

    Agree with Lucky, for once. These ads look extremely staged and completely unnatural. The awkward poses. Bright clothes. Faux happiness, etc. etc. I'm getting strong Emirates vibes here (just google: 'emirates business class ad') if you recall their pictorial business class ads from about 10(?) years ago. I can't relate to this. Except in a negative way, specifically those football bros also make me want to decamp to basically anywhere except an IHG hotel. And...

    Agree with Lucky, for once. These ads look extremely staged and completely unnatural. The awkward poses. Bright clothes. Faux happiness, etc. etc. I'm getting strong Emirates vibes here (just google: 'emirates business class ad') if you recall their pictorial business class ads from about 10(?) years ago. I can't relate to this. Except in a negative way, specifically those football bros also make me want to decamp to basically anywhere except an IHG hotel. And that's just the fluff, look underneath as Eskimo points out...and there's no substance either.

  3. Eskimo Guest

    Guest how you Guest? More like deny how you deny.
    Since latest program rebranding, seems none of the owner got the memo.

    Elite guest wants upgrade, denied! We are fully booked. All those suites you think is empty is your imagination.
    Elite guest wants lounge access, denied! But we renamed a small corner to a lounge for you but not if you're upgraded.
    Elite guest wants breakfast, denied! But here's a grab...

    Guest how you Guest? More like deny how you deny.
    Since latest program rebranding, seems none of the owner got the memo.

    Elite guest wants upgrade, denied! We are fully booked. All those suites you think is empty is your imagination.
    Elite guest wants lounge access, denied! But we renamed a small corner to a lounge for you but not if you're upgraded.
    Elite guest wants breakfast, denied! But here's a grab and go bag with one banana for you.
    Elite guest wants late checkout, finally approved!!!! But we can only do a special exception to 1PM. The 2PM is subject to availability and isn't available.

    All published benefits, denied!
    We apologize for the inconveniences as we are short staff and very busy. Here is 500 points ($2.5) for your trouble.

    Now that's how GMs guest their guests.

  4. Jake Guest

    To me, the last few months have been very exciting for IHG and I’ve had some good stays including Mr and Mrs Smith and Kimptons. I only have Platinum Ambassador but IHG does a good job of not overpromising benefits. Yes, the benefits are stark but certain hotels like the social password for Kimpton and free gift (bottle of wine) at MMS hotels do make things a bit more special. The 4th night free with...

    To me, the last few months have been very exciting for IHG and I’ve had some good stays including Mr and Mrs Smith and Kimptons. I only have Platinum Ambassador but IHG does a good job of not overpromising benefits. Yes, the benefits are stark but certain hotels like the social password for Kimpton and free gift (bottle of wine) at MMS hotels do make things a bit more special. The 4th night free with their card is also a unique perk that I’ve been able to use more than once (5night stays ala Hilton and Marriott are harder to do).

    I think the future for the loyalty program is making sure that hotels don’t end up gaming the system for perks like Marriott and treating member loyalty flippantly. There is already a few burners with the club lounge name changes, but I think it’s too early to tell (some of those club IC lounges ARE super packed with paying guests already).

    1. Eskimo Guest

      To stop owners from gaming the system, perks must be explicitly written out and accountability for short falls.
      Guarantee 1..... 2..... 3.....
      Definition of 1. (a)... (b)...
      If hotel cannot provide 1..... you will get XXX.

      Subject to availability 1..... 2..... 3.....
      Criteria of unavailable for 1. (a)... (b)...
      If doesn't meet criteria for unavailable, you will receive said benefit or you will get XXX.

      But why would the reward...

      To stop owners from gaming the system, perks must be explicitly written out and accountability for short falls.
      Guarantee 1..... 2..... 3.....
      Definition of 1. (a)... (b)...
      If hotel cannot provide 1..... you will get XXX.

      Subject to availability 1..... 2..... 3.....
      Criteria of unavailable for 1. (a)... (b)...
      If doesn't meet criteria for unavailable, you will receive said benefit or you will get XXX.

      But why would the reward programs want to do that anyway. Not good for their business selling franchises.

  5. furnish Guest

    These ads have been on the nyc subway for months. Shows this blog just reposts press releases as "news."

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Eskimo Guest

Guest how you Guest? More like deny how you deny. Since latest program rebranding, seems none of the owner got the memo. Elite guest wants upgrade, denied! We are fully booked. All those suites you think is empty is your imagination. Elite guest wants lounge access, denied! But we renamed a small corner to a lounge for you but not if you're upgraded. Elite guest wants breakfast, denied! But here's a grab and go bag with one banana for you. Elite guest wants late checkout, finally approved!!!! But we can only do a special exception to 1PM. The 2PM is subject to availability and isn't available. All published benefits, denied! We apologize for the inconveniences as we are short staff and very busy. Here is 500 points ($2.5) for your trouble. Now that's how GMs guest their guests.

1
Eskimo Guest

English too difficult to understand? ¿Hablas Español? Parlez-vous Français? क्या आप हिंदी जानती हूँ? 你会说中文吗?

0
Endre Guest

I totally agree?

0
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