Travelodge introduces Mr Sleep and friends

by William ASTON on April 27, 2010

Lenny Henry’s reign as king of budget hotels will be challenged when Travelodge introduces Mr Sleep and the Zzzz Squad campaign. The Premier Inn chain’s long-running ads featuring the former comedian turned Shakespearean actor will potentially be usurped as Mr Sleep hits television screens across the UK.

Travelodge’s TV campaign will hit screens this week at the close of Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent on ITV1. The  £10 million as campaign will chart the escapades of Mr Sleep and his band of Zzzz’s. The ad scheme will be the first time that Travelodge has advertised on TV in 20 years. The campaign comes at time when hotels are looking to capitalise on the industry recovery which has garnered momentum since late last year.

Similar to Mr Henry and the Premier Inn slogans, the Travelodge ‘Sleep tight’ ads will look to promote a great night’s sleep at bargain prices. However, the similarities will end there. According to the managing director for Travelodge, Guy Parsons, a recognizable figure with celebrity was intentionally left out of the ads in an effort to distance themselves from the Whitbread-owned chain.

Additionally, unlike Premier Inn’s ad featuring Henry busting down a door using an axe, an ad that was banned on TV for young children, the Travelodge ads will target a younger audience with the lovable figure of Mr Sleep. Parsons added that the budget hotel chain is even considering manufacturing Mr Sleep and his friends for sale as plush toys.

The campaign, spearheaded by the Mother London firm, was constructed from survey findings that indicated various reasons why customers chose hotels and how their hotel experience could be improved upon. Currently, Travelodge has 390 properties for a total of 28,000 rooms.

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