Howard Johnson’s Offers Free Stay to Anyone Named Don Draper
On Sunday’s ‘Mad Men,’ Don Draper took his young bride Megan to a fictional Howard Johnson’s in upstate New York, where absolutely nothing went right. So as a mea culpa, the real-life hotel chain is now offering a free night’s stay to anyone who shares a name with the suave ad executive.
On the episode, Megan hated the orange sorbet and the hotel pool was closed, leading to tensions that caused the Drapers to have quite a spat in the parking lot.
A statement released this week from Rui Barros, Howard Johnson brand senior vice president, read, “We’ve all been there. You plan a weekend away only to check in to your hotel and find that a much desired amenity — the hotel pool — is closed. It’s enough to make a man mad. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control.”
To make amends, Barros said, “Any traveler with the legal name Don Draper can book a free one-night stay this summer at one of the [eight] select Howard Johnson hotels throughout the U.S. … This is our way of showing Mr. Draper that we value him as a guest and hope to welcome him back soon.”
So if your actual given name is Don Draper, you can hit up a HoJo’s in Anaheim or San Diego, Calif., Mystic, Conn., Miami, Fla., Portland, Ore., Toms River, N.J., Rapid City, S.D. or Arlington, Texas — and you won’t pay a dime. Just ask for the “Don Draper rate,” and be prepared to show ID when you get there.
Not only did the chain turn lemons into lemonade, it got a whole lot of hip publicity for free. We have to think Sterling Cooper Draper Price would be impressed.