With the proliferation of 'soft' brands at global hotel chains and small independent companies, explaining the brand promise of a boutique-style property to clients isn't an easy task.
Marriott International likes to say its Autograph Collection Hotels "pull guests into the moment and leave a lasting imprint," but that doesn't exactly help an agent describe to a client what that experience will be like.
So to try to help explain that to consumers, Marriott recently published online videos that tell the stories of eight of its hotels, featuring locals and social media influencers.
"Guests often equate 'boutique' with small, which isn't always true in today's competitive marketplace. So it can be a confusing term. We find that guests believe 'boutique' usually means more personalized service and elevated design, with elements of storytelling throughout the experience," said Autograph Collection's senior director of global marketing and management Amanda Altree. "The challenge is that each hotel is different and there's no thread of sameness that defines the experience across the globe."
The three-minute 'Find your Pura Vida' video at El Mangroove in Costa Rica, features Sascha Lewis, founder of Flavorpill, who swims in the resort's pool, runs on a nearby trail, performs yoga on outdoor terraces and dines on locally-sourced ingredients.
A scene from "Rebirth," a short video about Autograph's Press Hotel.
In the four-minute "Rebirth," the storyline of The Press Hotel in Portland, ME, includes the rebirth of the city after having fallen on hard times.
The campaign uses no actors, so experiences in and around the properties feel real to travelers and agents alike.
The company also has a video called "Exactly Like Nothing Else." "Each vignette offers an authentic view of how to enjoy, experience and interact with the many different spaces, people and locations," said Jared Shulman, client services director at ACE Content, the company that shot a video called "Exactly Like Nothing Else."
The campaign has already received over half a million organic impressions across Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. At the same time, the filmmakers - who are also social influencers - have promoted the films through their channels. Marriott also broadcasts the videos on the televisions in Autograph Collection guest rooms.