InterContinental Hotels Books TurnHere for Branded Web Films

  |  September 14, 2006   |  Comments

TurnHere's first film series for an international advertiser is in production and will feature 140 short films, one for each of the hotel chain's locations.

In the hopes of getting people into its swanky rooms, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts is aiming the camera at what's outside of them. Local online travel video producer and distributor TurnHere has begun producing short Web films about each of the lodging company's 140 worldwide hotel locations. The effort, which is TurnHere's first wide-scale sponsored film series for an international advertiser, is part of InterContinental's broad branding initiative to promote its personalized concierge services and neighborhood smarts.

"What sells the hotel isn't just the hotel but the neighborhood and what you're going to do there," suggested TurnHere CEO Brad Inman.

The hotel's sponsored mini-movies will spotlight sights and places of interest surrounding each hotel. Keeping with TurnHere's mission to harness the charismatic appeal of neighborhood characters, the InterContinental flicks will be narrated by each hotel's concierge. In the first of the series, Robert Watson, chef concierge at The Willard InterContinental Hotel, offers viewers an insider's guide to his favorite Washington D.C. spots, beyond The White House and other requisite destinations.

"The main objective of this is that we want to provide our guests with authentic and local knowledge of each destination," said Jennifer Ploszaj, global director of brand communications for InterContinental Hotels and Resorts. "[TurnHere's] business model allows us to scale this across the world," she stressed. "We'd never be able to do this on our own."

Over 80 cities in the U.S. and elsewhere are represented by quirky locals and their favorite haunts on the TurnHere site, which features hundreds of professionally-produced films about neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and other points of interest. Thus far, most of the short Web movies are not sponsored. However, paid advertorial films promoting local advertisers like Atlanta's bottle opener maker, Brown Manufacturing, and Poughkeepsie's wiener joint Soul Dog, are cropping up on the site.

The film production firm is setting it sights on national advertisers with local footprints for future film series, and has been in talks about creating videos for liquor and bank brands, according to Inman.

Because a variety of directors will be shooting the InterContinental films, they "won't be formulaic," Inman noted. Movies focused on Paris, New York, Prague, Mexico City, Toronto and other hotspots are in production for the hotel chain.

The advertiser aims to have about 40 of the intended 140 movies completed by the end of October, according to Ploszaj. In addition to the TurnHere site, the films will be featured on InterContinental's pre-trip planning concierge Web site, and later will be integrated into the company's main site. In addition, Inman noted, InterContinental might place films on its in-room television video network or post them to the homepage of each hotel's wireless network.

The firm also will feature its films in e-mails. "We're developing a viral marketing strategy," Ploszaj told ClickZ News. "Our goal is to share this information with a wider audience of consumers."

The advertorial films, which will be co-branded by InterContinental and TurnHere, will be distributed through Google Local and Google Earth, according to TurnHere's Inman. The production firm in July introduced its integration with Google Earth, which allows users to download an application that marks map locations with icons linking to TurnHere movies about those cities. TurnHere also distributes its shorts through MSN Video, Google Video, iTunes and Yahoo.

All of the production firm's movies can be e-mailed, downloaded or linked to. The company also lets affiliates place a text ad-supported TurnHere player on their sites that automatically streams different mini-flicks each day. Affiliates can license a premium player and split ad revenue with the film company.

InterContinental's recent marketing efforts include sponsorship of an Aston Martin racecar driver, according to Ploszaj, who added that TurnHere will shoot a "day in the life" of the speed demon at the upcoming Petit Le Mans race in Atlanta. Along with the video series, Ploszaj said InterContinental is running banner ads on AOL and Yahoo, targeting finance, travel and lifestyle content. In addition, the advertiser is running new campaign spots on CNN International, and plans to re-launch its site next year.

In related news, TurnHere on Monday announced it will provide video production services to online video job recruitment firm RecruiTV.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!


Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.



    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...