Dog’s life at City Lodge HotelsApril 12th, 2011 by Susan Reynard | Categories: hotels, industry, tourism
A German Shepherd delivering a pair of slippers to unsuspecting diners has given City Lodge Hotels’ guests additional reason to feel at home.
In the latest “We’ll make you feel at home” campaign, agencies TBWA Hunt Lascaris and Osmosis staged activations at two of Sandton’s restaurant precincts, using four trained German Shepherds to take slippers to patrons.
“City Lodge has always been about making people feel at home. We wanted to demonstrate their positioning in a way that allowed people to interact with the brand in an unusual and memorable way,” explains Adam Weber, creative director at TBWA Hunt Lascaris.
“The intention was to bring to mind someone training his dog to bring his pipe and slippers to him so he can relax in his favourite armchair at the end of the day.”
Each pair of slippers was inscribed with “feel at home” and the City Lodge website and over 100 pairs were given away during the activations.
The dogs used in the campaign – Atlanta, Brutus, Zander and Maverick – were trained by Julie Bezuidenhout and Esther Leonard from The Dog Club in Glenanda, Johannesburg. Atlanta is the police dog seen in the film District 9 and some of the other dogs have “acted” in other locally-produced films and soapies.
In the City Lodge activation, the dogs were trained to carry pairs of slippers and drop them at restaurant patrons’ feet or in their laps. It took two weeks to train the dogs and a representative from the Animal Anti-Cruelty League was present during the activations.
“We found that everyone reacted well to the slipper deliveries and enjoyed interacting with the dogs,” says Weber. “Those who received the slippers really seemed to get the idea that City Lodge is a warm and welcoming hotel brand.”
Some comments from patrons who received slippers from the dogs included: “It’s a good idea. It certainly made me feel at home.” and “A great idea. I’d certainly feel more comfortable with my slippers on.”
City Lodge Group sales and marketing director Peter Schoeman believes the live activations “hit the mark” as they were focused on business people having lunch on Friday at the end of the working week.
He adds: “Business travellers are our core market so it’s important for us to make them feel at home, but we naturally also want leisure travellers to identify with our brand as a home away from home. It’s certainly an interesting extension of our marketing strategy that complements our other activities.”