Holiday Inn seem to have been quite busy recently, not only launching a brand new digital campaign, but commissioning a film to tell the true story of a double-amputee who was helped on his road to recovery by the global hotel chain. This is not the first time a brand has chosen to tell an emotional story for advertising purposes, with Skype's award-winning “Born Friends” spot another recent example of an ad which aimed to tug at consumers heart strings before it tugged at their wallets. The results (when done right) can add a fresh dynamic to a brand's image and this new short film from Ogilvy & Mather New York gets it more right than most.
The “Scott Rigsby” video is just one aspect of the brand's “Change Your View” platform, “Journey To Extraordinary,” a new digital campaign celebrating the journeys of its guests.
The film (which you can watch below) tells the story of Scott Rigsby, a man who lost both his legs after a tragic traffic accident over 20 years ago. Quite soon after his accident, Rigsby befriended Julie Hilton, who owned the Holiday Inn Resort in Panama City, Florida, where he was staying during his rehabilitation. The 3 and a half minute video takes us through Rigsby's rehabilitation and underlines how he could never have achieved such greatness (he has made history as the world's first “Double Amputee Ironman”), were it not for the staff at the hotel, especially Hilton, who he is still close friends with today. The film was directed by Stacy Peralta, who has previous documentary experience in the form of the award-winning 'Dogtown and Z-Boys', and is a stunning meditation on the human spirit that doesn't even feel like an advertisement. Which is precisely the point.
“The Scott Rigsby Story”
The “Scott Rigsby Story” video is just one aspect of the brand's “Change Your View” platform, “Journey To Extraordinary,” which is a new digital campaign celebrating the journeys of its guests. It does this by sharing their own unique narratives, narratives such as Rigsby's inspiring road to recovery. According to vice president of Holiday Inn US, Maurice Cooper, the idea behind the campaign is to bring the iconic Holiday Inn brand to life by focusing on the pivotal role the hotels have played in “Helping to enable the extraordinary journeys of millions of guests” who come through their doors every year. He says that each of their guests has “A unique connection to the brand and their own story to tell, which the Journey to Extraordinary campaign creatively celebrates, while hopefully inspiring fresh ones along the way.”
New content will begin rolling out from now until November with more “Signature Stories” such as Rigsby's being added to the brand's digital platforms every week
Holiday Inn has partnered with numerous organisation such as Tumblr, Nonfiction Unlimited (who brought Stacy Peralta to the table), MBAs Across America, and the International New York Times to bring this campaign to life. New content will begin rolling out from now until November with more “Signature Stories” such as Rigsby's being added to the brand's digital platforms every week. As well as Tumblr, this includes YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK. He stayed for a fortnight at a Holiday Inn in Orlando many moons ago and still fondly remembers the breakfast buffet.