Marriott Bets on Loyalty in New Campaign

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Advertising Age Player

Marriott International is injecting its new marketing with a dose of its real-life members. The hotel chain, which owns 19 different brands, is promoting its Marriott Rewards loyalty program with a new campaign featuring a few of its 57 million members. On Thursday night, the chain will air a 30-second introductory spot featuring a Rewards member who is a marine archeologist and mother as she scuba dives near the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Three other commercials, including one shot in Venice, will air later this year as part of Marriott's "You Are Here" campaign.

"We listened to a lot of our members and determined they have a lot of good stories to share," said Karin Timpone, global marketing officer at Marriott International.

This is Marriott's first loyalty program-focused campaign on TV in over a decade. The Bethesda, Md.-based company worked with its creative agency, Grey, and MEC on media.

"To stand out in an industry that is flush with expected, staged visuals, you have to do something dramatically different," said Andreas Dahlqvist, chief creative officer at Grey New York, adding that the company used cinemagraphs and variable speed techniques to make membership moments more notable.

In addition to the four commercials, Marriott will add a membership stories section, where members can share travel anecdotes, to its digital magazine, Marriott Traveler. It will also host a series of rewards events such as a private concert with Demi Lovato and DNCE in Los Angeles.

Last year, Marriott spent $102.1 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media. Revenue for 2015 was $14.5 billion, up from $13.8 billion in 2014.

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