Madre’s Iain MacKenzie helms HotelTonight campaign


The confident and savvy HotelTonight customer takes center stage with an awareness campaign helmed by director Iain MacKenzie of Madre, and created by Our Man In Havana.

The campaign for the relentlessly unique online travel agency (OTA) seeks to highlight the amazing benefits of the HotelTonight app and the distinctive travelers it empowers.

With a ruling spirit of “plan less and live more,” the campaign delivers a fun, over-the-top depiction of the type of traveler who might use HotelTonight: those who travel like true pros, maintain high standards, and are not intimidated by booking last minute. The two fifteen-second films, “Best In Show” and “Tanning Goggles,” are as sophisticated as they are whimsical.

Borrowing from Wes Anderson’s framing techniques, the films’ stylish characters are well choreographed and sure of themselves, as is MacKenzie’s camera work. In “Best in Show,” a sharp, retro-styled man zips along in his Vespa with his prize-winning Afghan Hound riding in the sidecar while an erudite British voiceover points out, “Greatness deserves greatness.” The same narrator is present for “Tanning Goggles,” where an austere and stylish woman walks through a boutique hotel where she unpacks a large trunk suitcase that contains a singular pair of tanning goggles, ending with the line “overpacking is a sign of weakness.”  Watch below:


On the development of the concept, Creative Director, Sylve Rosen-Bernstein said “HotelTonight is a different breed of OTA designed for a different breed of traveler—one who is a bit more astute, more confident and more sophisticated than the rest. With these spots we set out to articulate quirky, exaggerated versions of these travelers to demonstrate the aspirational attitude of the app’s target user.”

“Both of these heroes travel with a sense of athleticism,” explains the spots’ director, Iain MacKenzie. “What I wanted to show with these characters is that they’re one of one. They have a solid sense of self. They thrive in an on-the-go lifestyle. They have unique needs, requiring unique support. HotelTonight offers next-level, versatile lodging, so I aimed to match that standard with precise visuals and a well-developed world delivered as impeccably as possible.”

The refreshing take on OTA commercials was developed with the ad agency, Our Man In Havana. Managing Director, Lacey Gardner of Our Man In Havana says of the filmic collaboration with Madre and MacKenzie: “The product [the app] itself is pretty fantastic. It serves up a certain playfulness, even flirtiness, to the user in its interface. It’s got this wiser-than-thou, jestful attitude that ultimately empowers you to hit ‘book’. It was that experience that we ultimately endeavored to bring to life for the brand in the work.”

Madre brings a fresh perspective born out of the Latin gaze. Filmmakers crossing over to deliver flair, attitude and cutting edge. Our focus is excellence of craft bathed in culture.


CLIENT: HotelTonight

  • General Manager, HotelTonight & Hotels at Airbnb: Ron Sandel
  • Director of Marketing, Strategic Planning & Analysis: Paul Song
  • Marketing Lead (SEM, CRM, Meta): Natalie Ross
  • Marketing Lead (Brand): Denise Matamaros Laddite-Kerai

AGENCY: Our Man In Havana

  • Founder/Executive Creative Director: Andrew Golomb
  • Managing Director: Lacey Gardner
  • Creative Director: Sylve Rosen-Bernstein
  • Creative Director: Chris Duggan
  • Executive Producer: Bob Shriber
  • Account Executive: Violet Herzfeld

EDIT/POST FX: Gattie and Lopez

  • Editor: Chuck Willis
  • Executive Producer: Anna Petitti


  • Director: Iain Mackenzie
  • Partners: Jonathon Ker/Alejandro Saevich/Jorge Aguilera

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