Granada Services is planning to promote its Travelodge hotels on television, which it claims will be the first time the power of TV has been harnessed by the booming budget hotel sector.
The campaign is expected to start in the autumn, probably from September. Before that, the division's Little Chef restaurants will have benefited from a £3.5m television push running from mid-July to September.
These moves follow the return last month of Granada's Forte brand to the small screen after a four-year absence. Musician and TV presenter Jools Holland is starring in an eight-week run costing £1.5m that pitches the Forte Heritage brand at a younger, more upmarket audience, while a £2m, 10-week campaign is encouraging women to book family weekend breaks at Forte Posthouses.
Hotels that have invested in television advertising in the past have reaped rich rewards. Swallow Hotels attributed a 29% leap in profits over a 24-week period to the power of its first, award-winning campaign, which cost it £750,000 for a five-week run in late 1994 (Caterer, 18 May 1995).
And back in 1991, Edwardian Hotels claimed that each showing of its first television commercial prompted about 500 phone calls to its head office (Caterer, 21 March 1991).