Since first opening its doors in 1940, Travelodge has built awareness around its strong west coast-focused footprint while expanding into markets throughout the United States and Canada. With over 400 properties and 75% of locations within an hour of national parks, Travelodge has a strong value proposition for guests—enabling them to reach new heights, new depths and everything in between.
Positioning itself as the “Basecamp for Adventure,” the brand has built a historic foundation for itself, bringing in active travelers, families and adventure-seekers from across the country. As an economy brand, though, Travelodge faces strong competition from hotels within its segment. So in 2018, Travelodge set out to capture the spirit of adventure through an ownable, multi-year campaign: #Travelarge.
#Travelarge is a movement inspired by the brand, but ultimately, driven by the community. It’s about embracing all the journey has to offer, from the local trailheads to the family-owned diner.
The brand launched its campaign with acclaimed photographer and conservationist: Chris Burkard.
In a media-savvy and second screen world, with a vast majority of buying power with Millennials and Gen Z, the challenge was to captivate and stay relevant amongst a younger and growing generation of outdoor enthusiasts. While Travelodge is rich in brand history, there was a need to shift perception amongst this segment to inspire travel and drive brand affinity and consideration for Travelodge.
To engage this younger audience and capture the raw spirit of adventure—in the swipe of a thumb—Travelodge, along with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), partnered with Chris Burkard—an acclaimed landscape photographer and conservationist—to capture his journey documenting national parks of the American Southwest.
With nearly 4MM social followers, Chris was the credible voice that could show the social community how to #Travelarge.
Burkard has a unique way of seeing the world and believes that memorable images come from embracing the unexpected. Influenced by photographers like Ansel Adams, he captures stories of untamed landscapes and outdoor adventures that encourage others to take risks, appreciate nature, and support conservation efforts. And much like Travelodge, he believes national park conservation is America’s best idea and uses his creativity to promote the places he considers sacred.
We partnered with Chris to bring to life his authentic passion of exploration—and his own journey as inspired by Ansel Adams—to the Travelodge social community. By telling a powerful story through photographs and video, Travelodge made the experience—even in the most remote of places—relatable.
The overarching narrative came to life through Instagram and Facebook video content and examined all of the emotional elements of adventure—the outdoors, the vast beauty of the parks, the journey, the nature, the locals-only haunts, and its sense of connection back to the human spirit.
Chris went to extreme heights to get the perfect shot, capturing beautiful images of the Grand Canyon and incredible rock formations in Canyon de Chelly.
Using video and micro-content distributed across social platforms, we created a movement that inspires audiences to #Travelarge and pursue accessible adventure, while driving consideration for Travelodge.
Through our social media strategy, our campaign reached 7MM users and generated 7.5MM impressions. This resulted in 5,000 bookings and a $52 return on ad spend. Engagement rate was 4X industry average (Rival IQ, Hotels & Resorts, Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, 2018).
By partnering with Chris Burkard we were able to build on the history and brand values, while amplifying our messaging and gaining favorability among the hard-to-captivate, constantly-growing, youthful outdoor adventure seekers.