Marriott International has added YouTuber Jack Harries, Snapchat star Casey Neistat, and the producers of “Ghost Whisperer,” Ian Sander and Kim Moses, to its roster of content creators that will provide the hotel operator with entertainment it can use to attract a younger next-generation of traveler to its 18 brands.
The company last month launched Marriott Content Studio, an in-house branded entertainment division that will essentially try to make Marriott the hospitality industry’s version of Red Bull and GoPro, which are relying heavily on entertainment to reach digitally savvy consumers.
Marriott also has inked a co-production deal with Naritiv, a tech startup that launched out of the Disney Accelerator program, powered by Techstars, to develop interactive travel stories on Snapchat with several influencers on the platform, including Neistat.
The series will back the company’s “Travel Brilliantly” campaign for the Marriott Hotels brand, making it the first hotel chain to develop interactive stories on Snapchat. Through the stories feature on the app, users create daily compilations of their short video or photo posts that live on the platform for just 24 hours. But with Naritiv, Marriott will be able to package the videos for other websites and app, repurposing the content in new ways.
“Collaborating with Marriott Hotels represents a new step forward in programming on this platform,” said Naritiv CEO Daniel Altmann. “Users show their lives and tell their stories through Snapchat in a way social media did in its earlier days: candidly and spontaneously, yet serially. Each day tells a story. Snapchat thoroughly captures users’ attention for that moment they look at the Snaps and then capture and share them. People follow and connect with creators we work with in a special way, and we’re excited for them to be engaging Marriott’s audience in a new way as well.”
Marriott also has signed an exclusive production pact with Harries, co-creator of YouTube channel “JacksGap,” to develop three short films on travel that feature destinations around the world that are part of Marriott’s portfolio of brands.
Based in London, Harries’ channel has over 3.8 million subscribers and a combined 151 million views.
And the company also has partnered with Ian Sander and Kim Moses’ Sander/Moses Prods & SLAM to develop a scripted, narrative digital drama series. The producers’ credit includes TV series, and were showrunners of CBS’ “Ghost Whisperer” and “Profiler.”
“Our goal is to produce engaging content that builds communities of people passionate about travel that will drive commerce,” said David Beebe, VP, creative and content marketing, global marketing. ”Following our initial announcement last month, we have moved rapidly to engage development and production partners, get into physical production and begin to deliver content to our consumers. These deals expand both the depth of our content play as well as its breadth, by reaching into a new content area where few brands—and no other hospitality brands—have ventured before as activate and leverage global reach and distribution to become the leading publisher of travel lifestyle content that engages next generation travelers.”
In September, Marriott announced the formation of Marriott Content Studio, with exclusive talent deals with “Sonia Travel’s” Sonia Gill, “What’s Trending,” stunt team Substance Over Hype, and comedian Taryn Southern. It already had developed and distributed indie music series “The Navigator Live” for Renaissance Hotels.
“By providing engaging content that informs the next generation traveler we know that if we keep doing that it will build an audiences and hopefully an interest in our brands,” Beebe said. “If we provide content that informs and entertains, they will eventually stay with us.”