Marriott Hotels is the flagship brand of the largest hotel company in the world, with over 600 locations around the globe. But even with industry-leading awareness, we’ve been losing relevance and consideration among travelers (especially millennials) due to aging properties and an outdated brand image. In order to be relevant again, we needed to reinvent ourselves in a BIG way.
So we spent the past 7 years redesigning the entire Marriott Hotels experience from the ground up. Guestrooms, Greatrooms, M Clubs and more were transformed with a beautifully modern design aesthetic to anticipate our guests’ every need.
In 2019, our transformation finally hit critical mass and it was time for us to re-introduce travelers to the all-new Marriott Hotels experience. But shifting perception of such a massive brand is no easy task. In order to win over millennial travelers, we had to connect with them on a deeper level and bring them into the the new Marriott experience in a way that was authentic, engaging and social-first.
Instead of just relying on a traditional brand campaign, we turned to a group of highly talented influencers to do the talking for us, in their own voices. We partnered with inspiring global creators from an array of different backgrounds aligned with core brand pillars and sent them to explore our redesigned properties around the world, each empowered to capture their unique experiences along the way.
Our Marriott Hotels Ambassadors:
Each ambassador traveled to a different property, using its modern and sophisticated spaces to create engaging content that told their own stories of finding inspiration at Marriott Hotels. In Southern California, violist Drew Forde took advantage of the beautiful hotel grounds and functional work spaces in his guest room to write an original piece of music and perform it for hotel guests. Artist Elise Swopes created some of her most compelling visual storytelling in Madrid, inspired by the hotel’s unique and eye-catching interiors. And in Bangkok, filmmaker Michael Gray captured breathtaking content both inside the hotel and throughout the city, and used the property’s new M Club to edit his footage into amazing works of cinematography.
By strategically partnering with creators from such different backgrounds, we were able to reach and resonate with unique audiences. Our ambassadors focused on highlighting the specific aspects of each property that would be most relevant to their followers. Leaning into high quality, social-first video, they produced awe-inspiring content through the lens of our brand message: that when you let your mind travel, inspiration follows.
In September, we partnered with Queer Eye’s Culture Expert Karamo Brown, to promote the launch of our new global positioning -- that Marriott Hotels cultivates an environment where you can truly “Let Your Mind Travel”. Karamo is an inspirational presence who believes living your best life means adjusting your mindset, relating to the world around you and taking time to love yourself. He perfectly embodies our campaign message, so he was the perfect person to help us spread it. Highlighting one of our most stunning properties in Maui, we produced powerful social videos connecting with viewers through Karamo’s unique voice and perspective while showcasing the many ways in which Marriott Hotels delivers on this new promise.
With the help of Karamo and the rest of our Marriott Ambassadors, audiences’ minds traveled far, and so did our content. All while accomplishing everything we set out to accomplish: appeal to millennials, lift brand favorability, showcase our newly redesigned properties, and inspire audiences to let their minds travel.
Leveraging influencers to do the talking for us was a bold move during such a crucial time for the brand. Thankfully, it paid off in a BIG way.
In total, Marriott Hotel Ambassadors delivered over 150 social posts and 300 assets for the brand, fueling over half of the brand’s organic and paid social media presence in 2019 with 300 million impressions and 59 million engagements across paid, owned and earned media.
Influencer content achieved an impressive 20% engagement rate overall with posts on influencer channels performing more than three times above benchmark. The assets they delivered even out-performed our own brand campaign assets in paid social with a two times higher video completion rate and 35% more efficient cost per completed view.
But the results weren’t just social - our influencer program helped drive four times more traffic to our brand site year over year and contributed to steady increases in Brand Health metrics across the board.
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