Holiday Inn Express today launched a social media-heavy campaign that's anchored by the witticisms of comedic actor and Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. While the 40-year-old has appeared in commercials for Budweiser and Molson in the past, he told Adweek, "This is the first time I've partnered with a company to help them across digital lines and engage with their consumers."
The Canada native is starring in pithy, humorous Holiday Inn Express videos that will be pushed across YouTube, Facebook, etc., while he offers photos and tweets in the name of the brand during the coming weeks as well. His efforts will coincide with a larger "Smart Thinking" campaign, which includes a user-generated-content piece where folks are encouraged to create and post a Vine, a 15-seconds-or-less YouTube video, an Instagram photo or a tweet. They have to tag their item with the #staysmart hashtag, and then their contribution will appear at the initiative's online hub, StaySmart.com. The InterContinental Hotel Group brand is also running contextual promos via BuzzFeed and CollegeHumor, while partnering with Second City Communications to produce several Vine videos by the improv company's comedy troupe.
At the same time, Jones is clearly the leading funnyman here. Below are excerpts from our chat with him earlier today.
How would you describe the video work you've put together for the brand?
Well, of course!
Actually, they are very short because people have attention spans of gnats these days. (Laughs.) They are little, humorous videos that are between six and 15 seconds.
Did you bring in comedian friends to work on this project or is this a solo effort?
It's just me. We have so much of me that you don't need anyone else. It's the power of this person.
Nearly all comedians are on Twitter these days. Are you guys competitive at all in terms of who is the funniest or who has the most followers?
I think there is some sort of competition, but I am not a part of it because I have a … what do you call it … a life. But I think there's a bit of competition in terms of who has the most followers, who is the most influential on Twitter.
What is your personal go-to social media channel?
I'm mostly on the Twitter. Do they still call it the Twitter? Or has Justin Timberlake decided to get rid of the "the?" That's classic, Jones, classic. (Laughs.) I am on Twitter and tweeting, which doesn't sound right for a 40-year-old man to do. But that's how our world is changing. My grandmother is on Foursquare now, which is weird. She checks in.
Do you follow her on Foursquare?
No, God, no. I don't want to see where she's checking in. (Laughs.)