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Moxy Hotels launched a new video campaign today called “Do Not Disturb” with YouTube queen Taryn Southern interviewing other online influencers, some of whom have a thing for black leather bullwhips and bizarre high-alcohol cocktails. Others just want to cuddle.
This all takes place with Southern and her guests reclining on a bed in a sample Moxy guest room housed inside a 20-foot shipping container parked at the YouTube compound in Los Angeles.
Launched in Milan last fall, Moxy Hotels is Marriott’s boldest move yet specifically targeting the Millennial customer.
Marriott is scheduled to open ten Moxy Hotel projects in 2016 in: New Orleans (French Quarter and Warehouse District), San Francisco, New York City (Chelsea, Midtown, and Lower Manhattan), Chicago, Seattle, San Diego and Washington, D.C.
The Do Not Disturb videos are designed to drive advanced exposure around the Moxy flag by tapping into the participating YouTubers’ large volume of Gen Y audiences. Presently, Southern has about 453,000 followers, and some of her guests have many more.
Marriott’s in-house Content Studio hired the sweet and snarky digital diva to basically talk to her media peeps about boyfriends, body image, bands, boobs and booze, with surprisingly little input from Marriott. We could not have imagined writing that previous sentence three years ago.
The launch video today features Flula (702K followers), who is an L.A.-based German techno DJ, actor and comedian. Fans of Kafka and other German Expressionists will appreciate Flula’s surrealist, non-linear conversation, and it’s fun to watch Southern play off that. Flula, for example, says he won’t have Skype sex because he thinks Ronald Reagan is watching.
Marriott gave us an advance look at the first eight videos scheduled in the series about a month ago, but it’s taken this long for the higher ups at Marriott to finally launch the first video publically. Some of the content is pushing the boundaries a bit for a global hospitality brand.
“There’s been a few more rounds of approval than usual for this one,” David Beebe, VP of global creative & content marketing at Marriott, told us.
The slightly suggestive Do Not Disturb video with Brittany Furlan (243K followers) opens with Southern fawning over Furlan’s figure. Their ensuing conversation is basically incomprehensible for anyone older than 35—or male—with lots of bleeped out words.
That’s followed by a pajama cat fight between the two girls for superior positioning in a Vine selfie.
“We wanted to create a fun virtual extension of what the brand is all about,” says Vicki Poulos, global brand director for Moxy Hotels, who looks like she should be of drinking age any day now. “It was important to find the right partners for Do Not Disturb, who would actually stay at a Moxy Hotel. So we really looked for a ‘We get them/they get us’ kind of thing.”
Bart Baker, who has 6.7 million YouTube followers, is one of those partners. He impersonates celebrities like Madonna and Justin Bieber in self-produced videos satirizing their outlandish egos.
In one of the new Moxy videos, Baker haphazardly applies makeup to Southern’s face to make her look like a cross between a zombie and Rudolph the Reindeer. Southern, in mock despair, says Baker’s makeup skills show the worst possible version of herself ever.
Then she says, “If you want to see more of his sh–, go to youtube.com/bartbaker.”
Southern produced and edited the videos, and she chose her own guests to appear next to her to ensure the chemistry was authentic. She ends each one with a call-to-action telling viewers to check out Moxy’s YouTube and Instagram platforms.
“When we started this we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s come up with a playful illustration of our brand strategy and work with people like Taryn who are irreverent, shocking and hysterical,'” Poulos told us. “I love that word, ‘irreverent.'”
Each episode includes a Truth & Dare segment where Southern and her guests do irreverent things like play tug-of-war using a stuffed teddy bear instead of a rope. There is never any confusion at any time about who the target age group is here.
Beebe says the goal for this style of content is to develop a long term relationship between the brand and a specific target customer.
“Overall at Marriott, I think we’ve done a pretty good job in engaging the right audience and getting them to talk about the creative, without trying to sell them something,” says Beebe. “And they appreciate that.”