Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

3 Dec

Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem

Travelodge, the world-wide hotel chain, is using a novel approach to drumming up business over the holidays in the U.K.

They are giving away free room nights on Christmas Eve to any couple named Mary and Joseph. Travelodge is even offering free parking for your donkey.

According to a spokesperson, the promotion is an attempt to right the failure of the hotel industry  to offer a room to the parents of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

Is this a good marketing strategy?

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‘Course it is. It’s respectful, smart and just cheeky enough to be fun.

Getting religion and advertising comfortable in the same manger is always a tough balancing act. The paper-thin skin of the devoted is easily ignited. This campaign seems to have figured out where the lines are.

Sleep in heavenly peace.



8 Responses to “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”

  1. hill copywriting December 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    I vehemently … agree with you Doug 🙂 I really like the originality of this idea, enough to get people talking obviously — and you nailed it on ‘respectful but fun,’ thanks for posting it.

    • hill copywriting December 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      PS – just realized my grandparents were named Mary and Joseph Hill! (Actually born 1892 and 1896 in UK – we Hills are very late bloomers.) Sadly, don’t think I’ll qualify.

      • Doug Brown December 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

        I don’t know about you Baz, but I hope Travelodge keeps this one going. I think we’ll see a spike in those names, as well as Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar!

      • hill copywriting December 6, 2012 at 6:53 am #

        haha, good one — altho, I don’t remember those names from the bible, they sound biblical? Anyway I think your post deserve a shout on LI … if I can just figure it out….

  2. dongrgic December 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    What a great marketing ploy.

    • Doug Brown December 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Yeah – this is a smart one. And it isn’t really about the offer, but the buzz they are generating with it. Cheers Don.

  3. hotelgoddess December 4, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    if nothing else, it is memorable and funny (to me) & a little lame. not sure it is always the good memorable campaigns people remember though…they may piss off all the non-Christmas folk out there…

    • Doug Brown December 4, 2012 at 7:11 am #

      It’s also kinda cool that it’s an idea that can go on for several thousand years. It will survive the coming and going of technology and media trends. But I agree with you Angela – alas, people will remember the Budget Brake and Muffler jingle.

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