Marriott Intl. has been named MipTV’s brand of the year for 2015, as the operator of a portfolio of hotel brands expands into entertainment through an in-house content studio.
The brand of the year honor is the fifth time MipTV has given out the award. Past recipients include American Express, Heineken, Intel, Vice Media. Chipotle and Piro also won for their “Farmed & Dangerous” series on Hulu.
The award reflects the fact that video and branded entertainment have become an integral part of marketing strategies and an opportunity to connect with consumers.
The Marriott Global Content Studio is in the midst of curating and producing content it will distribute across a variety of platforms and screens, including its own in-room TVs, websites and mobile apps. Its goal is to use branded content to court younger travelers.
The company recently inked content deals with YouTubers, Vine and Snapchat stars; launched travel blog Gone With Medium; and wrapped production on a short action film, “Two Bellmen,” with music and extreme sports collective Substance Over Hype that Daniel “Malakai” Cabrera directed.
“This kind of collaboration with both traditional and emerging online media represents a new step forward in programming, with candid and spontaneous use of platforms like Snapchat in a serial form, capturing users’ attention in fresh ways. It is very exciting to see a premium travel brand like Marriott embracing 21st century global interconnection of media in this way,” said Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem’s television division and organizer of MipTV.
In return for accepting the brand of the year award, David Beebe, VP of Marriott Global Content Studio, will lead a MipTV keynote on April 14, with producers and talent of several of its newest projects joining them in Cannes. The keynote session will be part of the Mip Digital Fronts.
“Our goal is to produce engaging content that builds communities of people passionate about travel, that will drive commerce,” Beebe said. “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.”