There’s something very endearing about this Premier Inn advert, which nicely subverts the genre of crap hotel chain adverts by essentially admitting that it’s cheap, you use it for work and it’s fundamentally one of the most crushingly mundane things you could ever do.
Compare and contrast to the effort for Travelodge that featured puppets signing a song about how utterly amazing the whole experience was.
I found it vaguely irritating but more than that I just didn’t believe any of it for a second. When I have stayed in these places it’s because I wanted something on the axis between cheap and convenient, probably for work and almost certainly for as little time as possible.
Where this Chapman & Steele advert succeeds is in basically acknowledging that fact – even going so far as to showing these two reps sharing a room on the company tab, straightening their ties ready for a meeting where they will attempt to sell 4,000 printer cartridges to a medium-sized marketing company on an industrial estate in Swindon and revelling in an unlimited breakfast – probably costing £17.99 – that they will claim the exes for.
The crapness of Chapman & Steele as 70s-style buddy cop detectives is referenced in several places and using The Heat Is On by Glenn Frey – probably best known as part of the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop – is irresistible. It appears they drive a Ford Mondeo too which is just about perfect.
Also the introduction of Assistant Operations Manager Ross Mallard, apparently a real person though the name couldn’t have been more apt, is a lovely little touch. Ross once lent his belt to a customer who had forgotten his own. Is he a baddie? Boss? Informant? Or does the metaphor not stretch that far? Either way I like the conceit.
And the way this Premier Inn advert is filmed is the icing on the cake: the splitscreens, the endless zooms, the slo-mo/freeze frame captions. It looks like everyone involved had fun with it and if you’re making an advert for something fundamentally boring, cheap and rather crap then why not. I await the inevitable Chapman & Steele sitcom on Dave.
Needless to say I have no intention of ever staying in a Premier Inn ever again.