Publicity Hound Tim Martin of Corona, California first alerted me to this clever contest sponsored by the Holiday Inn.
“Holiday Inn capitalized on all their guest thefts over the years by literally throwing in the towel. They had a contest for the best stories of pilfered towels from their hotels. They gave prizes and donated some of the money to charity. The contest was tied into ‘Towel Amnesty Day‘ which they declared on August 28, 2003. Seemed like a great way to turn lemons into a perfect promo. “
I agree. This contest had several great twists that invite media attention. It involved customer participation. It helped a charity. It piggybacked off the company’s own self-created holiday. And it has even led to a book.
True accounts of Holiday Inn towels come to life in Absorbing Tales of Borrowed Towels – a full-color coffee table book that traces a 52-year history of the Holiday Inn brand through the stories of the guests who have “borrowed” them.
You don’t have to run a hotel to proclaim your own holiday. Designate your own day, week or month of the year and submit it to Chase’s Calendar of Events.