Here's a novel idea: A major hospitality brand actually giving life to the idea of customer loyalty by showing what actual loyalty programme members look like. That's the tact taken by Marriott International, which is highlighting select members of its 57 million members-strong Marriott Rewards programme.
Ad Age has the story, which highlights details of Marriott's "You Are Here" marketing campaign, which highlights the company's reward programme. One 30-second spot features a Rewards member - a "marine archaeologist and mother" scuba-diving at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. Another spot features a member vacationing in Venice. The company will air a total of four television commercials as part of the campaign.
The television ads are one part of a comprehensive marketing campaign highlighting the story-telling opportunities available to Marriott Rewards members. Money quote from Ad Age:
"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... 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.
The multi-million dollar focus on promoting Marriott Rewards does raise the question of whether, and when, the programme will integrate with the Starwood Preferred Guest programme (assuming regulatory hurdles to the merger in China do not derail the Starwood acquisition), and which of the two loyalty programme brands will end up representing the combined company. In the meantime, it's nice to see Marriott highlighting a few of the real people who make up the Marriott Rewards community.