CHOICE HOTELS MOVES OVERSEAS WITH PRINT, TV ADS FOR ITS CHAINS: CAMPAIGNS WILL RUN IN EUROPE, SOUTH AMERICA

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Choice Hotels International, a fixture off U.S. highways with its Comfort Inns and other properties, moves into new territory with its first ad effort overseas.

Print campaigns for Comfort Inns and Quality Inns break Aug. 30 in Europe. A simultaneous TV effort for Quality Inns will be aimed at Europe and South America.

The estimated $1 million push targets business travelers headed to the U.S. as well as those within Europe and South America. Choice has 4,000-plus franchised properties worldwide.

Choice executives said the U.S. lodging market has become increasingly crowded, and the company is looking overseas for expansion.

"All you have to do is drive down the highway and you see that you can only go so far here," said Margot Amelia, exec VP-group account director for Choice agency Gray Kirk/VanSant, Baltimore. "In the U.S. there's room for organic growth, but the big potential is internationally."

THREE NEWSPAPERS; CNN, CNBC

The print ads for both chains will run in overseas editions of USA Today, Financial Times and The Economist. The TV push for Quality will take flight on CNN International and CNBC's international version.

The Comfort effort will focus on the brand's availability in Europe and use the same tagline used in the U.S., "It's more than a room, it's Comfort."

The Quality campaign will use creative already running in the U.S. that trumpets the chain's level of trust, with the tagline "How to run a hotel."

NEW RESERVATION NUMBER

Both efforts will highlight a new toll-free reservation number usable throughout Europe that Choice will unveil when the campaigns begin.

During the past two years, Choice's advertising has focused on individual brands, marking a change of direction from advertising that lumped the brands under the company flag. That longtime effort had celebrities such as Dennis Rodman, Ivana Trump and Tip O'Neill bursting out of suitcases and plugging

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