Holiday Inn – You Trippin’ !

Holiday Inn is currently running an ad.  It’s innocuous enough, and pretty much what you’d expect of a commercial from them.  One line of the narration caught my ear though, and it’s making me look at advertising media with even more scrutiny then usual.

Did you catch it?  At about 17 seconds in the narrator says “..we ended up bringing the world together”

I’m okay with the promise of clean comfortable rooms and a pool or fitness center.  I’ll accept an ad agency making a typically sad breakfast buffet look like an elimination challenge on Top Chef Masters.

But bringing the world together?  Seriously?

The most powerful, enigmatic people of modern history would have a tough time saying that they brought the world together.

Holiday Inn has a history of building hotels.  They’ve long employed people to change sheets and hand out keys.  For a fee, they supplied travellers with a place to stay when they were tired and still 150 miles outside of Cleveland.  To take those accomplishments and say they brought the world together has to fall on the exaggeration/fabrication end of the spectrum.

The commercial itself doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the fact that I probably saw that it a dozen times before noticing that outrageous boast.  I’m a fairly discriminating viewer of mediocre TV.  Most people don’t watch it with my near-anal preoccupation to detail.  That’s what scares me.

Holiday Inn is far from the only company making outlandish, yet impossible to disprove claims in their ads.

Subaru tells viewers that love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.  Love – the single most mercurial and precious of all human conditions; that which has inspired the greatest works of art and literature over the history of mankind.  People have killed themselves and one another over love.  Can anyone truly believe that love actually has anything to do with making a Subaru a Subaru?

I don’t have a Subaru.  I do like my car very much, and the day it stops working well, I’ll hate it.  I’m not without faults, but tossing my love around all willy nilly is not one of them.  I reserve my that sweet gift for other human beings and McKenzie Brewing’s delicious Twisted Meniscus India Pale Ale.

People are being fed wildly presumptuous lies and they don’t even realize it.  They pass the Holiday Inn on Route 206 and a warm feeling passes through them, because on a subconscious level, they believe they’re in the presence of a Nobel prize worthy entity.  They’re not.  They’re driving past a hotel.  If by chance they’re in a Subaru the warm feeling they’re mistaking for love is likely just the heated driver’s seat.

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33 thoughts on “Holiday Inn – You Trippin’ !

  1. I haven’t seen the Hilton ad, but I have seen the Subaru ad and I wondered if it might be a cleverly subtle socio-political message. As for Hilton, do you suppose they were trying for a Coke, “We’d like to teach the world to sing” vibe? Maybe it would have gone better if it were, “We’d like to bring the world together.”

  2. Funny post – advertising claims have always been fodder for amusement to me. There’s Best Buy’s “Making technology work for you.” Uh, no you didn’t. Coke has a new one: “Open Happiness”. If a beer used that, they’d be slammed for promoting alcoholism. Apparently, an over-caffeinated sugar crash is happiness for someone with abysmally low standards for quality of life. And who can forget the Lehman Brothers’ “Where Vision gets Built”. They need a little more hindsight with that one!

  3. Ah, well-written, well-stated and a reminder that marketing is… marketing. It’s hype. Frankly, bringing people together is accurate in one sense, yet completely inaccurate in another. That’s the magic of marketing and writing ad copy. I doubt that most people pay any attention to it; it’s needed to fill up the allotted seconds in the ad. However, remember that old Coca-Cola ad featuring the crowd singing on the hill? “We’d like to teach the world to sing…” Or, whatever. Now, that’s hubris. Annoyingly outlandish. But let’s give it a try: hand every human a Coke and force them to stay in a Holiday Inn. Who knows?

    1. It’s one thing to bring the world together, it’s an entirely different thing to actually get them to get along with one another. My guess is they’d be smashing Coke bottles over each other’s heads before too long.

  4. Isn’t it weird that we don’t even expect ads to tell the truth? We just assume lying and blatant hyperbole is, you know, how you sell stuff.

    Signed,
    The Byronic Man: The funniest, best writer in history, whose writings cured small pox and reverse balding.

    1. After reading this comment, I can confirm that I have neither died of small pox, nor have I had any baldness. Your comment is therefore more accurate than their ad. Enjoy that for a moment.

  5. I like to talk to the TV and most of that conversation is me shouting out denials of the outlandish claims in commercials. Although the last time I updated my profile on Match.com, the perfect match they picked for me was a Subaru.

  6. My theory: this is just Madison Ave. recycling slogans as usual. “Bringing the World Together” was probably written for some other client before they dropped the agency. Maybe an airline or a condom manufacturer. Or a chemical firm heavily invested in adhesives. I think MAD Magazine must be all over this one. My $0.02.

      1. I’m sure that their PR team would find a way to put a positive spin on it, maybe “ecologically friendly”, “plenty of wildlife”, “guaranteed bedroom action”…

  7. Oh, and speaking of Subaru, I’d like to post the following question to the manufacturer: if love makes a Subaru a Subaru, and my car gets rear-ended by one – is that negligent driving or sexual harrassment?

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