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"The Road to Beautiful” with Rolling Stone and Marriott Bonvoy

Entered in Storytelling

Objective

In 2023, Marriott Bonvoy sought to increase their portfolio brand perception by creating engaging content that reached their Next Generation Experience Seeker target audience (identified as music lovers and festival goers). The opportunity to partner with Rolling Stone across digital, social, and video offered Marriott Bonvoy the chance to reach a more diverse and younger audience by telling authentic stories that went beyond just inspiring travel.  

Marriott Bonvoy showed this audience how their portfolio of hotel brands can help them see the world in a new light, seek underrated or overlooked aspects of well-known destinations, and learn about Marriott Bonvoy experiences they hadn’t previously considered. Marriott’s goal was to open their audiences' eyes to all Marriott Bonvoy can offer, going beyond the booking. 

With this content partnership across social media and digital photo- and video-based articles, Marriott set out to shift brand perception, drive awareness, and increase engagement. They measured their success via social media engagement metrics, overall reach within their target audience, average time spent with the branded content and online articles, and a brand lift study. 

Marriott planned to measure their success in reaching these goals: 

Strategy

Ahead of the Life is Beautiful music festival in Las Vegas in 2023, Rolling Stone and Marriott Bonvoy followed three distinct artists as they made their way across the United States. They stopped and created content together in different cities, at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, on the artists’ summer tours before making their way to Las Vegas for the festival. Marriott connected with artists to talk about life on the road and how travel inspires their craft. At Life is Beautiful, Marriott turned the questions back to the fans and encouraged them to share how music and travel inspire their lives through an activation walkway. Las Vegas was the perfect stage to connect fans with their favorite emerging artists as they closed out their summer tours.  

“The Road to Beautiful” collaborative campaign was executed across multiple social platforms (TikTok and Instagram from Marriott Bonvoy, music talents’ channels, and Rolling Stone channels). The campaign was also featured in four articles on Rolling Stone and in a technicolor walkway at the festival. All content told stories of how travel inspired Marriott’s three partner artists: TALK, Franc Moody, and Coco and Breezy, who were selected from the Life is Beautiful festival lineup. 

Marriott connected with Coco and Breezy in LA at AC Hotels, TALK in Brooklyn at Moxy Hotels, and Franc Moody in Chicago at an Autograph Collection hotel. They all met up in Las Vegas at a Tribute Portfolio hotel. All interviews, TikToks, and photos for the articles were captured at hotels that reflected the artist’s style and coincided with one of their summer stops before closing their touring seasons at the Life is Beautiful festival.  

In Las Vegas, a stunning and interactive walkway led to the largest stage at the festival. Festivalgoers were asked to share with Marriott how travel and music inspire them with #RoadtoBeautiful on social media. Rolling Stone and Marriott Bonvoy both captured and posted content live from the festival grounds. 

Results

The “Road to Beautiful” campaign delivered over 40.2M impressions, bringing Marriott’s total delivery to 10% above their planned goal of 36.5M impressions. 

Marriott saw 6.8M views across content on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and natively within Rolling Stone articles. Most notably, TALK’s TikTok content generated 1.7M views. Social results also impressed on Facebook, with a 3.23% engagement rate overall (highest placement benchmark is 1.40%). This showed Marriott that they successfully engaged their target audience, the Next Generation Experience Seeker.  

All four articles successfully maintained audience engagement, surpassing the Rolling Stone benchmarks for time spent and video completion rate. TALK’s featured article had the highest average time spent with content at 3 minutes and 31 seconds, over 21% higher than Rolling Stone’s benchmark. This indicated that Marriott’s target audience was highly engaged with TALK’s story and custom content. Both video articles surpassed Rolling Stone’s video completion rate benchmark of 28% (32% and 30%). 

Other notable results included: 

The "Road to Beautiful" campaign exceeded Marriott's impressions goal by 10%, beat multiple partner benchmarks, and showcased remarkable engagement rates across various social media platforms. The series proved that diverse music talent are content drivers while demonstrating the campaign's profound impact and resonance with the target audience. 

Media

Video for "The Road to Beautiful” with Rolling Stone and Marriott Bonvoy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Marriott Bonvoy in partnership with Rolling Stone

Links

Entry Credits