Marriott tours influencers around the world in first original Snapchat series
- Marriott premiered its unscripted original Snapchat series "Six Days, Seven Nights" Thursday, the company announced in a press release. The effort is part of the Marriott Rewards loyalty program, and Marriott claimed it's the first brand in the travel industry to launch a series for Snapchat.
"Six Days, Seven Nights" airs in four "snapisodes," running three minutes apiece. Each snapisode is partially filmed using Snap's Spectacles wearable and provides viewers a window into "the places, properties, people and program benefits that fuel our member's experiences while traveling the world," according to Amanda Moore, senior director of social and digital marketing, loyalty, at Marriott. Destinations include Berlin, Seoul, Dubai and New York City.
Marriott's Snapchat series stars a number of social influencers, including Tom Jauncey of Beautiful Destinations, Diipa Khosla, Sara Hopkins and Jen Levinson. To start each episode, the hosts lay out their "mission" for the week and then set out to accomplish that goal (for example, picky eater Levinson expands her food horizons with currywurst and frog legs in Berlin).
Marriott's been pushing the boundaries of what brands can do with original content for awhile, especially with viral hits like its "Two Bellmen" series, the most recent installment of which ran a bombastic 35 minutes-plus in length. The Snapchat initiative is more grounded but still shows Marriott has its finger on the pulse of a growing mobile trend, following in the footsteps of a number of media organizations and even major entertainment studios in producing original shows specifically catered to Snapchat.
The use of Spectacles is similarly savvy and echoes competitor Hyatt's new "World of Hyatt" brand platform, which taps the wearable to give viewers an inside look at the hotelier's day-to-day operations. Spectacles are proving increasingly popular as a way to offer insider access to behind-the-scenes activities and events or, with Marriott's new series, different corners of the world.
Leveraging influencers might also attract more eyeballs, as they often have dedicated fan bases that will follow them between apps. To date, Snapchat has not been particularly accommodating to influencer marketing, as most of its content disappears after 24 hours and a universal search bar to find users and official pages was only integrated in January.
Though "Six Days, Seven Nights" episodes are native to Snapchat — hence the "snapisode" moniker — and are shot in the vertical video format, Marriott is also posting them on its Facebook and YouTube pages, expanding reach and even potentially replicating the virality of efforts like "Two Bellmen."
As it stands now, it's difficult for Snapchat efforts to "go viral" in the traditional sense given how insular and ephemeral the app's content model is, though that might change given its growing focus on longer-form, premium video like "Six Days, Seven Nights."
Follow Peter Adams on Twitter