These Ads and Videos Show Us Why We Love Loyalty Programs

I’m not at all a fan of most airline advertising, and I’m not claiming these are effective, but I sure do actually have favorites in the world of miles and points advertising.

Here’s my all-time favorite print ad:

Everything we do can earn miles. Everything can have dual motivation. We present ourselves one way, selfless and thoughtful, while at the same time even our best selves are self-interested.

My favorite television commercial, even though they’re doing the exact worst thing possible with their points:

Points are the domain of ordinary travelers, middle managers. They aren’t the province or the rich or the insiders who know the secret handshake. They’re for everyday people, whose stays at Holidays Inns can bring them either fantastic vacations they’d never afford otherwise or simple pleasures that their families can enjoy as part insufficient compensation for the lost time they have from being on the road.

Of course nothing matches this video parody — and the comments on the video, many from hotel employees, are priceless.

The basics of loyalty programs are recognize and reward. Earn and burn are the reward part, but the recognition you get — the ‘VIP status’ — for focusing on the goal of staying with a single chain 25 times or 50 nights, or flying an airline 50,000 or 100,000 miles a year gets you treatment orders of magnitude better than the average person walking through the doors or onto the plane. But there are limits that the marketing sometimes makes it easy to forget, so it’s ok to poke fun at ourselves as a reminder.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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