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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

George Russell x Marriott Bonvoy GIFs

Entered in Meme, GIF, & Emojis


Several years into their partnership with the championship-winning Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team, Marriott learned a lot about what drives engagement with motorsport fans. Highly engaged users latched onto content best when it demonstrated fluency in the language, jokes, and culture of the fandom. Marriott knew that in 2023 they would be most successful by leaning into this in their branded content, showing their authentic participation in the fan community. 

Marriott sought to leverage the content they captured with Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS talent, driver George Russell. George was crowned the “meme king of F1” in 2023 and Marriott produced several episodes of content starring him from which they could create additional content. 

Marriott also launched a new community management strategy in 2023 that relied on engaging authentically in the communities they are passionate about. Their goal was to show the community that Marriott Bonvoy sees them and cares about them, regardless of Elite status, to establish or deepen loyalty to the brand. A library of assets to be used when engaging with F1 fans that demonstrated an understanding of the space would be valuable. 

Throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season, Marriott Bonvoy sought to achieve the following with their partnership marketing on social media: 

Strategy and Execution

Marriott’s strategic imperatives for their 2023 partnership plan were to: 

To achieve their goals, Marriott pulled a series of GIFs from their content series with George Russell. The GIFs were all snapshots of the most memeable moments from the video series. GIFs were selected with consideration to the moments that would resonate most with Formula 1 superfans, including inside jokes and clips that played on what fans love about George Russell. Other GIFs were pulled based on moments that would make excellent reaction GIFs and be useful in many situations to expand their relevance. Tagging was strategic based on Formula 1 search terms. All GIFs included a Marriott Bonvoy logo to drive partnership affiliation with the team. 


Marriott Bonvoy’s new partnership strategy with Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team launched with the inclusion of GIPHY in 2023. This library of GIF assets offered Marriott Bonvoy members, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS fans, and the entire Formula 1 online community the opportunity to react and respond to their friends and others with George Russell reaction GIFs. The GIFs were also key in the community management strategy when Marriott published new partnership content. 

Smart tagging and an integrated community management strategy drove 4M organic views of Marriott Bonvoy branded Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS GIFs. By thoroughly understanding both the Formula 1 online audience and the George Russell fandom, Marriott Bonvoy was able to create a series of content that resonated with the target audience, as evidenced by both content performance and earned media. In addition, by taking a multi-platform approach, Marriott Bonvoy extended the reach of the content in new ways. Organically and authentically, Marriott Bonvoy’s brand has appeared in countless online conversations through the implementation of GIPHY. 

Throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season with their GIPHY content, Marriott Bonvoy achieved the following: 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Marriott Bonvoy


Entry Credits