Brand Marketing Hotel Loyalty Programs Hotel Social Media

Marriott’s Poké Triumph – How M Live Turned $3k into Millions in Brand Awareness

Marriott International was recently included on the World’s Most Admired Companies list by Fortune Magazine, for the 17th year in a row…and all for good reason. Marriott is now the world’s largest hotel company in the world, following its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts**. Marriott is also home to Marriott Rewards, its global loyalty program and M Live, a 24 hour, real time marketing studio.

I was both delighted and impressed by Marriott’s recent entry* for The Shorty Awards (now in their 9th year, they recognize the latest and greatest in social media). Voting for finalists has now ended, but here’s the gist of M Live’s great effort that turned timely response, plus a little over $3k in spend to millions in brand awareness and reach (as opposed to a corporate partnership with Niantic, which would have reportedly cost well over $10m).

When Pokémon Go was all the rage in 2016, brands and individuals the world over were scrambling to get a piece of the action. Nick Johnson stepped into the limelight as the Pokémon Go player (master) to capture all 142 Pokémon available in the US. In the original video games, there were 151 Pokémon monsters and Niantic, the maker of Pokémon Go made 142 of these available across the US, with another 6 rare monsters in hiding and 3 only available outside the US.

M Live, which outside the US, also has regional hubs in Europe and Asia-Pacific, was diligently monitoring the buzz around Pokémon Go on key social channels, especially Twitter and Snapchat. M Live and Marriott Rewards intervened in timely fashion to offer Nick Johnson an opportunity to travel the world and complete his Pokémon collection. The company then stepped back and let Nick do his thing. The resulting outcome was tremendous – 800+ news outlets covered the story, with over 281m PR impressions and 9m Twitter impressions. Plus they made one particular Pokémon Master very very happy.

Check out the full Shorty Award entry here – a video summary is included with the submission. Watch on Vimeo or below (password – MIPokemon)

Move coverage – AdWeek | Business Insider

Kudos to the M Live team!

Real time social media monitoring and engagement is vital to any brand arsenal today…and more companies are getting their timing and interventions just right. Late last year Emirates Airlines also scored big when they upgraded renowned Vlogger Casey Niestat from Business to First Class. The resulting Vlog blew away even Casey’s expectations…to date, it has had almost 32 million views on YouTube.

Best. Unpaid Ad. Ever.

* Some more Shorty Award entries by Marriott International

  • Marriott Rewards #MRPoints – recognizing and rewarding loyalty members on Twitter, using Chirpify – Check It Out
  • Marriott Rewards Lead Gen – Simplified enrollment into the loyalty program directly on Facebook, plus higher acquisition ROI – Check It Out
  • Marriott Rewards Facebook Messenger Bot – helping loyalty program members understand the benefits of linking their Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts together – Check It Out
  • Marriott Rewards presents Demi Lovato and DNCE live in 360 – creating compelling content through partnerships and expanding an audience of a few engaged loyalists to millions online – Check It Out
  • Business Unusual – the fourth short film produced by Marriott’s Content Studio and the first to support the Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels brand – Check It Out
  • Two Bellmen Two – another Marriott Content Studio production and the second short film in the Two Bellmen saga, this time set at the flagship JW Marquis Dubai – Check It Out


**Disclosure: In my day job, I work with a portfolio of legacy Starwood Hotels and in essence, for Marriott International. All content and opinions expressed on this blog are entirely personal.

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