Hotel chains aren’t really cool. They have cool stuff to offering, like free wi-fi and swimming pool, but if you’re a young traveler on a budget, you might be gazing more to services like Airbnb.
Marriott isn’t ready to concede that, so they’re travelling after millennials on their own turf: Snapchat. The aim is to convince these travelers via Snapchat that Marriott Rewards is a program worthy of their fickle love.
Marriott on Thursday liberated the first of four “snapisodes, ” the word they’re applying to describe advertisements they have created for Snapchat. This isn’t only your typical Snap ad, which is more often a 10 -second video clip or a swipe up to a website or movie trailer. These are three-minute, influencer-filled productions meant to capture teen eyeballs while also demonstrating their dedication to Snapchat.
Marriott Rewards’s effort is pretty much a daydream come true for Snapchat. Previously, media partners, like Mashable and TV studios, were the only stores constructing exclusive, high-quality, episodic content for its app. But now brands representing some of the world’s largest businesses are vying for spots on the platform. That could mean that brands could have their own channel or they sponsor takeovers of existing ones.
In the meantime, these businesses are demonstrating themselves to Snapchat by creating and paying for ads.
“The idea originally was to imitation television. We wanted to create a Tv serial and mimic it as such, ” told Amanda Moore, senior head of social and digital marketing at Marriott International. “Snapchat provided us with a lot of best practices, want me talking to camera. We knew we needed person authentic, relatable.”
The four-part serial titled Six Days, Seven Nighttime are called “snapisodes” because it’s an ad purposely made for Snapchat. It’s so on-brand for Snapchat that they even filmed part of it applying Snapchat Spectacles, the app’s video-camera sunglasses.
For the last two years, Snapchat has built up its own media platform called Discover, where media stores (< em> Mashable are participating) establish exclusive content. Snapchat previously moved its own canal called Snap Channel, where it had scripted depicts similar to these “snapisodes.”
The world’s largest recreation studios and now the world’s largest hospitality business have taken some of additional burdens off Snapchat, producing and promoting their own Snapchat Shows.
For Marriott, the ad commitment aligns with their authentic social strategy and aim of expanding the Marriott Rewards program.
“Our approach to social media is extremely curated and very professional, ” Moore told. “When it comes to Facebook, you’ll visualize us do a lot in video this year especially when it comes to live. We’re focused on Instagram tales, planning to create 100 unique tales this year.”
“Snapchat for us felt like a natural next step, ” she persisted, “Its an opportunity for us to reach new audiences.”
Marriott Rewards began applying Snapchat back in April 2016, but primarily used the app to create geofilters, where brands can pay to have filters that Snapchat users to be able to overlay on their photographs and videos while in certain locations, such as inside a hotel.
The brand isn’t that active on their Snapchat account, but for a reason.
“Snapchat for us, its a canal thats very raw, but we also wanted to be very specific and intentional, ” Moore told. “We dont wishes to set content up to the purposes of putting content up.”
That idea of not making daily or regularly scheduled content for a social canal is foreign to some brands, but it’s exactly what Snapchat preaches. As Digiday reported, more than 30 percentage of label accounts on Snapchat are inactive. But, again, Snapchat doesn’t care. Marriott is following the playbook of creating Snapchat-exclusive ads and paying for their placement.
It’s the perfect pay-to-play scenario for Snap.
Marriott worked with Imre, a New York-based marketing bureau, and Delmondo, a creative studio and technological sciences company that gained reputation for its analytics and make on Snapchat back in 2014.
“The episodic format is the best space to form peoples attention, ” told Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo. “That has remained consistently the highest performing format.”
Snapchat customers could happen upon the ad if they follow certain travelling and hospitality-related canals on the app. The occurrence also will be put up on YouTube and the Marriott Rewards Facebook Page.
The Marriott Rewards Snapchat account also will feature behind-the-scenes of each episode.
Discovery on Snapchat isn’t perfect, but there’s a way forward that Marriott and Snapchat have at least discussed. Back when Snapchat debuted its first ad for the movie Ouiji, it appeared at the top of user’s feeds, a.k.a. prime real estate for attention. Now, there’s an opportunity customers will skip it or only miss it.
But, Snapchat has been adding to the number of Discover partners. For now, labelled content, as in canals sponsored by a partner label, is forbidden on Snapchat. But brand-only canals could become a bigger part of the platform. Sony had one for James Bond Spectre back in October 2015, and Spotify sponsored a music serial in December 2015.
Brands, like Marriott Rewards, have been chatting with Snapchat about an opportunity to be on Discover, as well.
“Discover was on the table for us, ” Moore told. “Going back to the Tv mentality, were talking season one here. This is our pilot.”
Now Marriott and Snapchat have to determine: “Does this thing have legs? Discover is something on the table if this thing takes off … for this initial season as a label we kind of wanted to see this imagination come to living and get to market quickly.”
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