Marriott Rewards and the National Football League (NFL) enjoy a year-long partnership designed to enable once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the loyalty program's most ardent and fervent football fans. With the NFL's regular season lasting 17 weeks, Marriott Rewards needed a fresh, always-on marketing solution that increased awareness of the partnership and opportunities available to members.
During the summer of 2017, Marriott Rewards spotted a trend within Instagram Stories where content creators were "hacking" the native features of the platform to create a gameified experience. Transforming the Instagram Stories experience from passive viewership to active engagement was the perfect fit for the program's exciting NFL partnership.
Marriott Rewards collaborated with notorious Instagram Stories hacker Pablo Rochat to create four different Instagram Stories concepts, hacking the platform to develop gamified experiences around cornhole, field goals, the coin toss, and of course — scoring a touchdown. Viewers were challenged to "tap and hold" (pausing the story) at critical moments to "win" the game.
Upon seeing strong organic success, the program amplified its Instagram Stories via paid media campaign to ensure always-on engagement throughout the NFL regular season. Optimizing against its most effective stories, Marriott Rewards capped off the season by resharing its most successful Story throughout the weekend of Super Bowl LII.
By gamifying the Instagram Stories experience, Marriott Rewards saw significantly higher completion rates (+20% above brand average), with thousands of viewers tracking forward and backward throughout the story to "replay" the game. Additionally, members often replied to the Stories to let the program know that they "won" the game!
In a paid media flight of less than five weeks, the Instagram Stories amassed 13 million impressions (+106% above goal), with an estimated ad lift of 8% (higher than the Marriott portfolio average).