Marriott Modifies Marketing Message

Holiday Inn Express may advise people to “Stay Smart,” but Marriott Hotels wants to be more about the journey, encouraging people to “Travel Brilliantly.”

With a new marketing campaign, the hotel chain -- a division of Marriott International -- is looking to show how it can cater to both business and leisure travelers who are sometimes one and the same at the same time. 

“The travel industry is about to undergo a huge sea change as millennials – the largest age demographic since the boomers – will become the dominant [travel] customer segment in the coming years,” Mara Hannula, Marriott’s vice president of global marketing, tells Marketing Daily. “We’re on a journey to envision the future of traveler for the next generation traveler. The campaign coincides with the investments being made to transform the brand and reimagine the travel experience beyond the four walls of the hotel.”



The campaign includes television, digital and mobile advertising, as well as a redesigned logo and enhanced social media presence. The company has also set up a new microsite,, as a place where consumers can see new innovations under development as well as share their own ideas about improving the travel experience. 

Ideas submitted through the Web site will be entered into a contest through which three judges (including Marriott’s director of innovation) will select 15 winners who have submitted ideas that could truly “change the future of travel,” according to Hannula.

“We believe we have a great opportunity to capture the younger business traveler in a way our competition has not.,” she says. 

The crux of the campaign from Grey New York is to show that the hotel is about more than just being a place to stay while away from home. “It’s an idea that travel should be brilliant,” says one of the ads. “It’s not only about where you’re staying. It’s about where you’re going.”

“The ‘Travel Brilliantly’ campaign re-establishes Marriott's role as a pioneer in the travel industry,” says Jan Egan, executive creative director, Grey New York, in a statement. “Beyond creating new industry advancements, Marriott is shifting the process of how these innovations are ideated. By fostering dialogue with guests and engaging the modern traveler to co-create the travel experience through, Marriott will define the future of travel.”

Print advertisements for the new campaign will run in magazines such as Fast Company and Wired and online at sites such as Television ads will begin airing in September.

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