This past month, I was excited to see Marriott make its mark on both the big and small screens.
At the movies, The JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton at L.A. LIVE had cameos in Think Like A Man, which held the number one spot at the box office for several weeks. What wonderful and terrific exposure this was. I must admit, I don’t know or understand all that much about reality TV, but watching our episode of The Pitch showed me how this type of program is a fun way to build brand awareness. Autograph Collection was more than a product placement. It was the brand being pitched to our marketing team.
I love to go to the movies and over the years I’ve seen our hotels on the silver screen many times. It wasn’t called “product placement” back then. It just happened. Now it’s a Hollywood business. Scripts are written with products in mind.
Sometimes there are risks in placing products in movies. Very few films are “G” rated anymore. It can be a tough call knowing how a movie will turn out or how it will be received by the public. Believe it or not, Mars turned down an offer to use M&M’s in a famous scene from the blockbuster ET. Instead, the friendly alien gobbled up a trail of Reese’s Pieces -- instant brand awareness.
Like other companies, we occasionally use product placements and reality TV as part of our marketing strategy. I’ve even been approached by Undercover Boss. I turned them down. It would be difficult to disguise me. And I’m not waiting for a call from Dancing with the Stars. I’m sure that would not help sell our hotel rooms.
Let me have your suggestions for any reality TV shows you think I should consider.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.