‘We’re a Media Company Now’: Inside Marriott’s Incredible Money-Making Content Studio

David Vaassen - Thursday, November 05, 2015

Destination (or Place) branding and marketing is emerging as a critical activity for all sorts of companies, governments, countries, Regions and Cities.

This includes Hotel chains, Tourist Experiences, Activity brands and and even Restaurants.

Joe Lazauskas writes that the venerable Marriot group is now thinking like a Media company.

“We are a media company now,”


When you walk into the ground floor of Marriott’s headquarters, it fittingly looks like the lobby of a modern hotel—chic white lounges, cozy pods, even a friendly receptionist. But then you notice nine flashing screens encased in glass walls, like a TV control room that has been teleported from Hollywood to Bethesda, Maryland.

In a way, it has. Inside the control room—dubbed “M Live”—were three media veterans tasked with seeing just how much a hotel brand could capitalize on the fast-changing digital landscape.

“We are a media company now,” said David Beebe, Marriott’s Emmy-winning vice president of global creative.

It’s now been two years since Marriott hired Karin Timpone from the Walt Disney Company, where she had led the launch of successful digital products like WATCH ABC, so she could connect Marriott to the “next generation of travelers.” In June 2014, Beebe, also working for Disney, followed Timpone. By September 2014, Marriott had announced the launch of a global content studio.

Beebe and Timpone got to work fast. By early 2015, Marriott had created a successful TV show, The Navigator Live; a hit short film, The Two Bellmen; a personalized online travel magazine; and even exciting forays into virtual reality with Oculus Rift. The projects generated immediate success, from high engagement metrics to millions in direct revenue and even content licensing deals. Soon, the company beefed up its in-house staff, bringing in Matthew Glick from CBS as the senior director of the Creative + Content Global Marketing Group and Marc Graser, formerly of Variety, as editorial director.

Read the rest of the article here.


Key Takeaways

  • Destination Brands need to start thinking like media companies
  • Images, Video, Customer Experiences need to be gathered and shared
  • The need to tell great stories
  • Partner with content creators to develop compelling content
  • Develop an internal culture for story telling

See how Brandkit helps marketers manage Destination Branding content.

Curated from the Contently blog.

Happy Branding :)

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