For immediate release
Web Series Marks Official Debut of Digitas’ New Brand Content Platform, The Third Act:
Boston, MA July 8, 2008 – Holiday Inn Express and Digitas (www.digitas.com) today announced that “The Smart Show” has returned with a second season of all new episodes. The web series, showcasing the quirks, challenges and occasional charms of business travel, is co-produced by Digitas’ new brand content unit, The Third Act:, and integrates video and Web content with additional sponsorships and promotions.
New episodes of “The Smart Show,” produced in concert with Endemol USA (Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), will air twice a week from July through October and be hosted by Internet TV network blip.tv. Each episode will be distributed across the internet by blip.tv and Broadband Enterprises, and will also be featured on “The Smart Show” website (www.hiexpress.com/thesmartshow), which offers visitors a fully interactive experience.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage our guests in the clever, fun and smart personality of the Holiday Inn Express brand,” said John Merkin, senior vice president of brand management for Holiday Inn brands in the Americas.
“The Smart Show: Season 2 is a natural evolution from last year. The webisodes still deliver laughs, but this year visitors are getting a more complete brand experience via the website.”
“We’ll still have great shows, but now we’ve added rich info, amazing stuff every week, and answers to visitors’ every question or demand—everything that they need while they are on the road, and the chance to shape the program every step of the way.” said program lead and creator Ben Jones, senior vice president, creative, Digitas.
“The Smart Show” website contains content designed to appeal to business travelers. The site features a “Deal of the Week” feature that offers one great deal every week for 100 Priority Club® Rewards points. The site also houses “The Ultimate Road Warrior Challenge.” Registered users who earn the most Priority Club Rewards points by staying at Holiday Inn Express hotels will be eligible for a wide range of prizes and earn chances to win the grand prize, an All-New 2009 Pontiac Vibe.
Another key partnership for “The Smart Show” this season is the online travel resource TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com). “The Smart Show” content and functionality will be fully integrated into the TripAdvisor website and be promoted throughout the popular homepage and destination guides, serving as the first area on the site featuring curated business travel content.
Promotion of “The Smart Show” is happening across an array of popular Web shows, as the program is sponsoring four “smart” blip.tv shows: Beet.TV, Geek Entertainment TV, Experiment of the Week and Break a Leg.
“TV quality video paired with helpful business travel content is a great combination; relevant and useful to our nation of road warriors, said Dina Kaplan, co-founder and COO of blip.tv.
“Holiday Inn Express and Digitas clearly understand this new medium and how to engage consumers.”
Other new features this year include:
- “The Smart Show” blog, which will post relevant travel content from around the web and commentary from industry expert bloggers, including Andy Plesser of Beet.TV (www.beet.tv) and Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV (www.winelibrarytv.com).
- The “Need-er-ator” service allows visitors to plug into “The Smart Show’s” community for answers on tough travel questions. Users can search the site’s videos and blog posts for relevant information, look for answers on partner sites Amazon, Eventful and Yelp, or pose questions directly to the Smart Show team and audience.
About Holiday Inn Express
Holiday Inn Express is the modern hotel for value-oriented travelers. Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers. Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free, hot Express Start™ breakfast bar, free high-speed internet access, free and local and 1-800 phone calls (US only) and the ability to earn Priority Club Rewards points that can be redeemed for great merchandise, airline miles or free stays in more than 3,300 hotels. There are currently more than 1,800 Holiday Inn Express locations around the globe. For more information about Holiday Inn Express or to book reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY or visit www.hiexpress.com.
Digitas is a leading digital marketing agency, helping the world’s biggest brands develop, engage and profit from building profitable relationships with their customers. The Agency pairs media, marketing, technology, creativity, imagination and analytics to ignite emotional bonds between people and brands. Digitas also operates the brand content platform, The Third Act, the independent healthcare marketing brand, Digitas Health, as well as Prodigious Worldwide, the world’s only standalone, global digital productions company. With sister agencies Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia and Denuo, Digitas is a member of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi—a global digital knowledge and resource center that leverages the combined scale of the autonomous operations of its members to develop new services, new tools, and new partnerships.
Paris-based Publicis Groupe S.A. is the world’s fourth largest communications group, the world’s second largest media counsel and buying group, and a global leader in digital and healthcare communications. With around the world activities spanning more than 104 countries on five continents, the Groupe employs as many as 44,000 professionals.
Blip.tv is an online television network that features, promotes and monetizes the best independent shows on the Web. Shows on blip.tv range from scripted sitcoms and dramas to news programs, and top titles include Wallstrip, Alive in Baghdad, Break a Leg, Unleashed, and The Show with Ze Frank. Blip.tv hosts shows on its destination site, at blip.tv, and also syndicates shows to iTunes, the Adobe Media Player, AOL Video and Facebook. Blip.tv splits all advertising revenues with show creators equally. For more information about blip.tv please go to http://blip.tv/.