Skift Take

Marriott is following through on the common ideologies of content marketing more than any other brand, which will make its initiatives even more fascinating to watch in a few years when we can tell whether they actually do or don't work.

Marriott International, which announced the creation of a global content studio in September, today released the first of its latest content initiative — a trailer for its first 15-minute short film.

Marriott will soon create original short films, distributed on YouTube and screened at Marriott properties, for all of its 19 brands. Its debut, Two Bellmen, is a story about two competitive bellman who form a relationship while thwarting an attempted art heist.

The film is the result of a collaboration with dance, parkour, and music collective Substance Over Hype. Each of its action and art elements align with the artistic ethos of the JW Marriott brand.

Marriott launched a trailer for the film on a film-specific YouTube channel today. This, and a film website, are attempts to establish the film as an entertaining and barely branded piece of advertising. The hotel is the backdrop to a story plot that is only roughly associated with the sophisticated brand.

The full 15-minute film will appear on YouTube, and be screened at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live, on March 10.

Marriott hopes to reach a much larger audience by aligning with the renowned parkour group and integrating art and action influencers into the film.

“We understand as a brand that today’s millennial audience does not engage with traditional advertising,” says David Beebe, Marriott’s vice president of creative and content marketing.

Beebe’s goal is for the content to drive an emotional connection with the sought-after demographic with hopes of building the hotel group’s community. Once the community is formed, the group begin to will drive commercial opportunities.

According to Beebe, it’s less about getting parkour fans to stay in the JW Marriott brand, which would make for strange bedfellows, and more about making them aware of Marriott at all.

Marriott measures the ROI of such initiatives by tracking views, engagement measured by length of time spent with the video, and community growth measured by “Likes” and subscribers, says Beebe.

Watch the trailer for the new film below:

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Tags: marriott

Photo credit: A still from the new Marriott International short film "Two Bellmen." Venom / Substance Over Hype