Marriott in the Limelight

July 15, 2012

This past month, I was excited to see Marriott make its mark on both the big and small screens.  

The Pitch logo

The Pitch is a reality show in which two advertising agencies fight it out to represent one of our newest brands, Autograph Collection.   


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.

Think Like A Man featured a fantastic aerial shot of the Ritz-Carlton and filmed scenes in some of our restaurants and rooms.  This romantic comedy kept the tone light and fun in a luxury setting.

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.    


Listen to Blog - Marriott in the Movies

The comments to this entry are closed.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I personally amongst friends also feel that reality shows are overated and the market for the viewers are young and most have alot of time on their hands. I hope that in the near future they will realize that we the viewers finds reality shows insulting to our inteligents! I am aware that the cost to pronote these shows are minimull compared to a meaningful program!!So please keep the Mariott a 5 Star !!!

In my opinion . . . ANY free publicity you can get for Marriott Hotels is great! Go for it!

I have not really found any reality tv that is of interest. But I really like Marriott lodging at all levels.

I agree with Fast Eddie - However, why not one of the fantastic kitchens and restaurants of the Ritz Carlton? Cooking from a first class restaurant where consistency is expected and received.........Time after time........wherever.........whenever.

I don't watch reality shows and wouldn't really care, frankly.

Dancing With the Stars is a great show and one that Marriott should consider. In addition to having a broad audience it's a wholesome show that promotes something that's good and healthy. Maybe Marriott could host a show in one of it's grand ballrooms.

W. Arrigo

Bill - how about one of the design shows - you can give them the chance to redesign one of the rooms and if you love it, then you can implement throughout your different hotels - Or you can see if Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum will have their designers come up with new uniforms for your staff -
Just saying :)

How about Secret Millionaire.... or Celebrity Masterchef or Hells Kitchen.

Try looking into the Paradise Hotel Reality show that once aired a few years ago. I enjoyed that show and where they stayed was some beautiful scenery. That would be a great opportunity to try to get that show back on the air and have it at one of your beautiful and exquisite properties through the world. Love is in the air and especially at one of your resorts.
Just my suggestion.

Lynn Tavares

I don't enjoy reality tv shows. I've only seen one episode of Survivor and 3 episodes of The Apprentice. They don't really represent how business works. They represent how the characters 'think' business should work. I often find them overbearing and they completely turn me off from the business/franchise they are promoting.

Dear Mr Marriott

As a long standing member of Marrioot rewards, I am delighted that both TV and movies select Marriott Group properties, it is a fitting compliment to the best hotel group in the world.

As for your comments over Reality TV shows, I must admit I would have been surprised had Marriott hotels felt it was good business to associate the business with what are often "low grade substitutes for good TV". As a 5 star group, good marketing sense would be to position the brand in a setting that reflects its pedigree and expectations from both business and A group guests. It's a bit like Jaguar or Bentley being featured in Dog the Bounty Hunter or Storage Wars - it just doesn't feel quite right.

I trust my comments are taken in the spirit in which they are meant.

Best wishes

Richard Johnson
Elite Gold Member

thanks for the info. keep up the good work.

Well I don't know about reality shows, but the British TV documentary series 'The Hotel Inspector' comes to mind. Alex Polizzi presents the shows, and judges the hotels which are subject of a review. That is not something that is ideal for the Marriot brand though.

Perhaps an alternative idea might be a TV feature which is a cross between a documentary like 'The Hotel Inspector' and 'The X Factor'.

But then again, I can't visualise Bill as either an Alex Polizzi or Simon Cowell :)

I am a huge fan of Undercover Boss; I think it is a great way for companies to see what is happening on the front lines of their businesses. However, I think that you, Mr. Marriott, are very aware of what happens on the front lines. I myself have had the pleasure of meeting you on multiple occasions through my four short years of service. I believe it may have to do with working in the Phoenix market at the Marriott Scottsdale Suites and your love for the Camelback Inn, but in any case I do believe that many associates would recognize you right away. I would like to also thank you for making the associates a priority. It is something I am thankful for everyday and is a reason I love working for this company. I look forward to the future with Marriott and the many things this company will do. And as for the reality T.V. shows, leave it to the Trumps! =)

American Idol, definitely. It's the most watched show and Marriott easily can host the audition segments with a good product showcase.

Several shows come to mind.
"Chopped" where you could pit chefs from 4 different Marriott hotels against each other and making yourself a celeb. judge.

Create an "Apprentice" spin off where competitors via to create new and exciting products and programs within the Marriott brands.

Of course, If all else fails you can always contact Betty White and do a cameo on "Off their Rockers" Just Kidding.

Best wishes and and a great blog

Mr Marriott, I would love to see our brand on America's Got Talent! Let it be Hollywood, Las Vegas, or New York; we should be the featured hotel of where all that talent stays during the shooting of the show! Now that would be great exposure! - Manuel

I was the front office manager at Key Bridge in 1961 and I was asked to help Jack Hevenor write the first Marriott Hotels Operating Manuals. We worked out of your fathers office at River Road and I was honored to meet your father and his wonderful secretary. A year later, I was front office manager at Twin Bridges when you came and hung drapes as we opened new rooms along the railroad tracks. Should have known then where your drive would take Marriott Hotels!
Jim Park.

Bill, You are my American idol! I'd never vote you off the show.

They could have disguised you for Undercover Boss. The only problem is that you know how everything in a hotel works. You would end up training the trainers. All the Marriott product placement is well done. None of it has felt forced unlike some brands. Keep up the good work.- John

Even though you are no "apprentice," I'd love to see you go head to head vs. Trump and see who blinks first. My bet is that Trump blinks. Good call not doing Undercover Boss. You're too classy for that reality show.

As a fan of Undercover Boss, I was thinking that. Ow would be an excellent time for Mr. Sorenson to participate. I agree that your face is too recognizable within our company.


Just a thought in regards to Marriott & TV shows. I've seen some of these "surprise! home makeover" type of shows. It seems Marriott could do some form of reality vacation package giveaway show. With current economic conditions for middle class Americans, I'm sure the concept would go over well, and there are plenty of hard working families that deserve it. It is also a great way to spotlight some of Marriott's new brands or newly built / renovated properties. Let's not forget the best part, doing something positive for fellow man and spreading good will.

Best of luck, wherever the limelight takes you!

Bill Pelham

Mr. M - MasterChef would be a perfect reality show for you however, I'm thinking bigger things; American Idol judge. Who better?

Mr. Marriott, your company has always been a leader in the hospitality industry, so why not on the small screen? How about a one time special with you starring in "The Intern" where candidates vie for a position somewhere in Marriott International. The surprise at the end, you say to the best one, "You're hired."