Marriott Rocks a Times Square Installation
When Marriott Hotels and Resorts needed to generate buzz and awareness about its new guest room enhancements last September, the brand decided to bring the new room to the people.
In its first major push into event marketing, Marriott pulled out all the stops for the mSpot, a four-day extravaganza in Times Square featuring a glass-enclosed environment that contained all of the contents of the hotel’s new-look guest rooms.
“You could step right inside the room and feel like you could be on the 57th floor of the Marriott Marquis,” says Laura Loughlin, senior vp-live events at New York City-based Momentum Worldwide. “To put this all together and have this overarching feel of design and contemporary-ness—it made it very different. It felt very grounded and very real.”
Food Network personality Bobby Rivers emceed the event, and the brand brought in Leeza Gibbons and Rachel Perry, show hosts on the Westwood One network, to tape radio broadcasts from inside the booth. To keep the buzz going into the night, the brand served up plenty of entertainment—performers included Ciara, Marc Broussard, Antigone Rising, and Collective Soul—for gigs on top of the glass structure. As many as 12,000 fans showed up for the shows; NYPD had to shut down the Saturday night concert because of safety concerns.
In addition, Marriott made it a family experience, as the hotelier’s corporate marketing staff worked as street teams during the four-day run.
“We learned that there’s a lot of benefit to having your own staff, who lives and breathes your brand, going out there and talking about it,” says Deborah Fell, senior vp- marketing strategy and integration for Marriott. “Folks engaged, and they showed up in large numbers.”