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Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!
Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!

We'll Leave the Light On For You: Motel 6's Advertising Success

Motel 6 is a motel franchise with over a thousand locations that was started in 1962 in Santa Barbara, California as a lower-cost alternative to motels like Holiday Inn, which were slowly becoming more upscale. Aside from its low prices, Model 6 may be best known for its series of commercials with National Public Radio personality Tom Bodett, who closed every ad with the line “We’ll Leave the Light On For You.”

When Motel 6 conceived of the idea for a campaign in the mid-1980s, Bodett worked on NPR’s All Things Considered program. The Richards Group, a Dallas- based advertising agency, was hired by Motel 6 in 1985 and thought Bodett would be an excellent spokesman for the chain because of his warm and friendly vocal style. Hired in 1986, Bodett ad-libbed the line, “We’ll leave the light on for you”while in the recording studio for the first time and the slogan was both an instant and lasting success, staying with the chain for over 25 years and counting.

Versions of the theme have won numerous advertising awards, including as recently as 2009 when the radio commercial entitled “DVD” featuring Bodett and his famous line won the grand prize at the Radio Mercury Awards. The backgroundmusic played in the radio commercials won a Clio Award in 1996 and the campaign as a whole was named by Advertising Age magazine as one of the top 100 best advertising campaigns of the twentieth century.

Motel 6 is based in Dallas and is now owned by French multinational corporation Accor. For years Motel 6 owned and operated all of its locations, but began franchising in 1994.

Rebuilding Michigan Through Franchising

Juggling work and a degree is no easy task. But that didn’t stop Timothy Rice, a serial entrepreneur and owner of multiple franchises. He studied at the University of Michigan for over 10 years to earn a degree in consumer behavior, economics, and public relations. Upon graduating in 2005, Rice entered the corporate world, but quickly found that it was not a match with his skills or his lifestyle.

Franchising and the Economy Infographic

In all the talk about deficits,unemployment, and the precarious state of our nation's economy, one of America's most powerful engines for recovery is often (and foolishly) excluded from the conversation -- a classic case of missing what's right under our nose. Developed and perfected right here in the U.S., the franchise business model represents the ideal blend of national heft and local business, accounting for hundreds of thousands of stores, millions of jobs, and billions in annual output.

Liquid Capital & Net Worth: Why These Metrics Matter In Franchising (And How to Calculate Them!)

Liquid Capital is a term we use a lot in franchising, so much so that it’s easy to forget that this isn’t really a common word for folks who are new to the industry. Here's what you need to know!