Premier Inn Stay In Their Comfort Zone (And That’s Great)
Same feeling, whatever the trip
Reliability is not the easiest quality to put across in an ad. Dependability is a big part of the appeal for lots of brands – in fact you could say it’s one of the main reasons branding evolved. But trying to communicate that quality can leave your brand just looking a little… dull.
Premier Inn can’t go the route taken by competitors like AirBnB and show off its wild locations – one recent AirBnB ad was a series of photos taken by customers who’d rented caves around the world. It’s safe to say there are no caves on the Premier Inn database. Premier Inn locations are sturdy buildings in useful locations offering affordable and comfortable nights’ sleep.
So if Premier Inn can’t talk about glamour and excitement, what can the brand do? It can mix excellent execution, stylish visual effects and plenty of human between-ness to put across its great virtues: comfort and consistency.
Premier Inn’s latest ad, “Same Feeling”, gets that exactly right. It takes what could be a weakness – the one-size-fits-all experience it offers – and turns it into a strength. Premier Inn is for everyone, which means the ads can show almost anyone and still be credible. And this ad works as a series of glimpses into ordinary people’s lives and the hundreds of different reasons they might want to stay in a Premier Inn. Young couples and old, business and leisure travelers, luggage-laden families and light-packing solo cyclists… everyone’s welcome, and the brand treats everyone with the same care and respect.
The approach lets the ad do two important things. Firstly, it’s an ad which celebrates diversity without even mentioning it – the mix of ages, races, same- and different-sex couples feels absolutely unforced. Ads which do this are likely to land well among a general audience as well as potentially creating a diversity dividend among people glad to be represented on screen.
Second, the way the ad is shot – constantly moving between rooms – keeps the Premier Inn beds firmly at the centre. This is where the consistency and comfort comes in – there may be a rainbow of customers but the rooms they’re staying in are always neat, with well-made, big, comfy-looking beds. Again and again the ad goes for the sensory pleasure of lying back on a new, freshly made, hotel bed.
This simple combination of different people having the same delightful experience is wrapped up with a strong music choice (a feelgood 70s hit by Redbone which got sampled in the 90s, neatly hitting every generation of customer) and a voiceover from Sir Lenny Henry, who has a decade-plus association with the brand. The result is a genuine people-pleaser of an ad, with a strong 4.3-Star score and 97% Brand Fluency – both well above the category average for travel. It’s a great lesson in how to communicate reliability in a way that leaves people smiling.