How Holiday Inn Helped A Double Amputee Walk Again

There are times when a brand has a great story to tell, and it just needs to decide to tell it and tell it well. This sounds simple, but in the world of marketing–rife with too many meetings, approvals, image paranoia, and crowds of cooks in the kitchen–it can be tough.

But despite the inherent challenges, sometimes the sun shines through the cracks in the process concrete and real stories like Skype’s award-winning “Born Friends” add a whole new dynamic to a brand’s image. Now, this new short film by Holiday Inn and agency Ogilvy & Mather New York tells the story of Scott Rigsby, a double-amputee, who lost his legs below the knee after a traffic accident more than 20 years ago.

The film, directed by Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-Boys, Riding Giants) tells the true story of how, soon after his accident, Rigsby was befriended by Julie Hilton, the owner of the Holiday Inn Resort in Panama City, Florida. Told through interviews and old photos, we learn how a depressed young Rigsby was to be relegated to a wheelchair, stuck waiting in Panama City for his prosthetics to be made, and how Hilton and her staff helped him through a tough time.

We’ve written at length about how more and more brands are opting to tell emotional stories in their marketing efforts and it’s interesting to see Holiday Inn, whose previous ads have tended to the funny, get this real.JB