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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

TikTokers Roam Around the World with Marriott Bonvoy

Entered in TikTok Partnership


“Where can we take you?” This was the question that drove Marriott Bonvoy’s 2023 portfolio marketing campaign. The goal of the campaign was to shift perceptions of Marriott Bonvoy and invite new audiences to imagine exploring the world with Marriott Bonvoy’s unparalleled portfolio of hotel brands. 

When hearing the name “Marriott Bonvoy,” Marriott found that some people had perceptions of business travel, corporate brands, and their parents’ loyalty program. Even when there was awareness of the brand there was often low relevance and, therefore, low consideration. The portfolio campaign overall sought to change this, but Marriott needed to take a different approach for a channel like TikTok. 

Marriott Bonvoy’s target audience for the campaign was the Next Generation Experience Seeker with a focus on post-college Gen Z and young Millennials. To meet that audience where they spend their time, Marriott decided they would need a bespoke approach to TikTok content. 

Marriott was challenged to authentically connect with the next generation of travelers to educate them on the breadth of their hotel brands and persuade them that these hotel brands are relevant and exciting. Marriott hypothesized that by working with TikTok-first creators to develop campaign assets custom to the video platform, they could outperform their traditional film assets. 

Marriott planned to measure their success by comparing TikTok creator asset results to brand ad results in their campaign and looking to brand lift study results to determine if they had successfully shifted the TikTok community’s perception of Marriott Bonvoy. 

Strategy and Execution

To appeal to this unique audience, Marriott partnered with four TikTokers: 

Marriott’s four TikTokers represented a diverse swath of the TikTok audience and ranged from macro to mid-tier creators. They each created ad-exclusive TikToks that were run in Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio campaign as well as organic assets designed to appeal to each of the creators’ distinct audiences. 

At the core of Marriott’s campaign on TikTok was the idea that Marriott Bonvoy is more than TikTokers expected and offered experiences that people normally don’t think of or associate with the brand. This was key in the brief to creators—Marriott asked them to address this mismatch of expectations vs. reality head-on. That resulted in unique content themes like “These are three hotels I couldn’t believe were part of Marriott Bonvoy” and “How to plan an amazing bachelorette party at different Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands.” 

All of the content created used TikTok-first features like voiceovers, greenscreen edits, on-screen text, and native inclusion of Marriott’s campaign anthem for sound. Much of the content didn’t require any travel to produce, improving the efficiency and relatability of the campaign content. TikTokers showed users the places they wanted to go from the Marriott Bonvoy App or explained different hotel brands’ personalities via outfit selections.  

However, as part of their content creation process, the TikTokers also explored several of Marriott Bonvoy’s diverse hotel brands on trips. The TikTokers stayed at unique hotel brands across the world, including Autograph Collection, Moxy, Courtyard, and Design Hotels. In their on-property content, TikTokers shared what made the hotel brand special and unique, not just the destination or property. 

In the creators’ organic content, Marriott collaborated to develop creative concepts that would resonate deeply with their individual audiences and tell more of a holistic story. The intent was to blend in with their feeds seamlessly, as opposed to the branded content which was designed to stand out and demand viewers’ attention. For instance, one creator let Marriott know that she had recently started dating a new boyfriend. Together, they decided that she would soft-launch him to her TikTok followers via content captured at her trip to an Autograph Collection hotel. 


With the TikTok creator portion of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio campaign, Marriott wanted to find out if TikTok-first creative would outperform brand content on the platform. They found that across all major KPIs, their hypothesis was confirmed. 

On TikTok, creator content outperformed brand creative overall. Marriott also saw improved brand lift study results when they ran creator content, rather than just brand ads: 

Ad Recall – +8.4% (7.9% norm) 

Brand Awareness – +3.8% (2.5% norm) 

Brand Preference – +2.4% (no norm available)

The lift in preference was most notable for Marriott, as this is typically a lower funnel metric despite the campaign having an upper funnel focus. 

Although not a goal of the campaign, Marriott also achieved extremely high organic views for one creator in particular. @jonathanbennett published two TikToks that garnered 1.1M organic views. This showed that Marriott was successful in their goal to authentically connect with their target TikTok users. Organically, the four creators published 15 TikToks. Marriott found that they were able to balance views and engagement by partnering with both macro and mid-tier creators—macro creators drove the strongest average video view volume per post, while mid-tier creators saw the strongest engagement rates. 

Marriott Bonvoy successfully inspired their audience on TikTok to roam around the world with them through compelling creator content that entertained and educated.  


Video for TikTokers Roam Around the World with Marriott Bonvoy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Marriott Bonvoy


Entry Credits