By Sahil Patel
A month ago, Marriott International launched a branded content studio, essentially announcing that it planned to be the Red Bull of the hospitality industry. The goal of the studio is to create original content for multiple platforms, in partnership with leading producers and creators both from traditional and digital media.
The studio launched with talent partners including Sonia Gil, creator and host of the Webby-winning series “Sonia’s Travels,” YouTube star Taryn Southern, and “What’s Trending,” the Emmy-nominated talk show co-created and hosted by Shira Lazar.
New Marriott is announcing even more talent partnerships, signing various content deals with digital and traditional talent like YouTube star Jack Harries, Instagram star Casey Neistat, and “Ghost Whisperer” producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses.
Harries, co-creator of the JacksGap channel on YouTube, which reaches more than 3.8 million subscribers, will develop and produce three short films exclusively for Marriott.
Neistat, another prominent YouTuber who also has more than 190,000 followers on Instagram, will be part a Snapchat series from Marriott and Snapchat-centric marketing and analytics firm Naritiv. With Naritiv, Marriott will co-produce “interactive travel stories” on Snapchat starring influencers like Neistat and Mike Platco.
With Sander and Moses, Marriott has inked a development deal for scripted, narrative digital drama series.
In addition to those three partnerships, Marriott is also premiering a new series on YouTube. The show, called “Year of Surprises” and produced for the Marriott Rewards program, is a monthly series that will feature a different celebrity host each month delivering the “surprise of a lifetime to deserving community members.” The first episode is hosted by Los Angeles Clipper Jordan Farmar.
Marriott Content Studio is comprised of three arms, a creative agency, as well as entertainment and live divisions — all focused on developing original content in both video and print formats. The creative agency heads up the creation of short, travel-centered content, while the entertainment group oversees narrative, episodic work, and the live team focuses on…live content.