Country Inns & Suites By Carlson has selected Interpublic Group's Campbell Ewald as its new agency of record after a review that begain earlier this year. New work is slated for 2016.
Incumbent Olson was agency of record since 2009. Campbell Ewald was chosen to help the hotel chain stand out and raise brand awareness amid fierce competition. "I think every brand has a concern with brand awareness," said Aurora Toth, VP-brand marketing of Country Inns & Suites' parent company, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. "We're not as large as our competitors, so brand awareness is always top of mind for us."
Among mid-tier chains, differentiating is a challenge, with many brands offering similar amenities, she added. For example, to set its free-breakfast experience apart, Country Inns & Suites serves the meal on real dining ware.
"We're looking forward to shining a light on Country Inns & Suites' unique services and offerings, and taking the brand to the next level," said Jim Palmer, CEO of Campbell Ewald, in a release.
Along with differentiation, the brand needed a fresh set of eyes, Ms. Toth said. She said the agency will start with a "deep dive into the brand" with research and analysis. Ms. Toth said she thinks the companies are a good match together, and that Mr. Palmer's team's passion stood out, as well as the agency's understanding of the brand's challenges. "We're a tiny team so we need an agency to roll up their sleeves and sit on the same side of the table we do," she added.
This is the third win for Campbell Ewald in three weeks. The full-service agency was recently named agency of record for Travelocity and Empire State Development Corporation, New York State's chief economic development agency.
Campbell Ewald has offices in Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio. The shop's clients include Country Crock, Degree, Edward Jones, Federal Student Aid, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Magnum, OnStar, Snuggle, TRESemme, UNICEF, USAA and the U.S. Navy. Country Inns & Suites By Carlson has more than 470 hotels in the U.S., Canada, India and Latin America.