Marriott Bonvoy’s First Commercial Debuts During Oscars

Filed Under: Marriott, Videos

The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program launched in mid-February, replacing Marriott’s previous three separate loyalty programs — Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Personally I don’t really get why they decided to rebrand the loyalty program, and give up on the name recognition of Marriott Rewards. And I especially don’t get why they chose Bonvoy as the name of the program… eh?

Yesterday during the Oscars, Marriott Bonvoy had their first TV ad since the launch of the program. Now, I’m tempted to say something sassy like “rather than spending money sponsoring the Oscars, maybe they should work on their IT, informing people if they were hacked, etc.”

But I also recognize that if they chose to go with a name like “Bonvoy,” they need to market it, because it’s a made up word that most people aren’t familiar with.

So, here’s Marriott’s 60 second ad during the Oscars:

My thoughts:

  • The ad is sorta really stupid and doesn’t have any sort of a message; it’s ironic that they’re trying to make Marriott Bonvoy more than just a loyalty program, yet the video has no depth or actual message
  • At the same time, maybe just saying “Bonvoy” over and over and over and over at different hotels will make it stick in peoples’ heads?
  • I feel like they could have used more spectacular hotels than they did; they use the W Verbier twice, but no St. Regis Maldives, St. Regis Bora Bora, Tambo del Inka, Mystique, Le Meridien Paro, etc.?

I mean, at this point I’m just randomly yelling out “Bonvoy” for no reason. It reminds me a bit of the HeadOn commercials that used to air… apply directly to the forehead!

So I guess the ad worked, as much as I found it uninspiring?

So my take is that the ad is stupid, but perhaps it works if the goal is just to build brand recognition.

What’s your take on the Marriott Bonvoy commercial?

  1. I’m certain that the name was focus-grouped, checked for cross-cultural insensitivities, and the subject of countless meetings and conference calls. The fact that Bonvoy is the best they could do makes me weep for the advertising industry. Draper Daniels (the real Don D) must be rolling in his grave.

  2. Saying “rather than spending money sponsoring the Oscars, maybe they should work on their IT, informing people if they were hacked, etc.” isn’t sassy it’s serious.

    The worst thing you can do for a bad product is great marketing, it makes everyone aware of how problematic the substance is. That’s why you want to get the substance right before announcing it to the world.

    I suppose there’s no risk of that here, since it’s not.. great marketing. But it *IS* permission to use Bonvoy in a variety of contexts, oh your passport information was given to hackers? “Bonvoy!” Your planned honeymoon destination wants to charge thousands of dollars to your credit card even though you are redeeming points? “Bonvoy!”

    You’ve been Bonvoyed!

  3. As stupid as the name! Instead of having people say the name over and over maybe they should have explained that it was a new combined program.

  4. Rewards Reimagined. Yeah in the mind of a Marriott Executive, and his imagination was saying how can make these rewards CHEAPER FOR US?

  5. What have they reimagined? Besides the dumb name. Why do I have to email my folio to customer service 9 stays out of 10 to get credit?

  6. It is just about the dumbest name ever conceived for marketing a major chain such as this. Reminds me of the (70’s) theme to the movie “Convoy”, which was also inane. And yes, we actually did see the ad last night and lived up to my expectations for Marriott’s Bonvoy campaign. Which is to say that it was stupid and annoying.

  7. 45 seconds of feeling annoyed at hearing bonvoy over and over again, then 15 seconds of feeling disappointed when they say “rewards reimagined” and I think of how good the rewards were before the “reimagination”

  8. Oh my god, I have had enough of people complaining about this name, like it is even important! Get over it, move on.

    I for one actually like the name. I think it works well in many languages and I like the branding.
    I also like this advert – it is a quirky way to get across the name change and to start integrating the many hotel brands into one experience. And it will be just a small part of the full advertising and promotional strategy.

    All of us reading this blog and the many others that obsess over points and miles should remember that most programme members are nothing like us. They collect what they can, but do not get stuck into every little detail. They think about their tier points and nights spent and status twice or three times a year, not every day.

    Sometimes the comments on this blog make it sound like you all think getting points is a birthright. It is not. They are a nice bonus to promote loyalty. If you don’t think it is worthwhile doing so anymore… don’t! Move on, go to another hotel, vote with your wallet.

    I am sure you all have more important things to be thinking about than a damn name.

  9. I offered them my services for the ad as “Titanium Man”. The newest super hero with cape and tights that flies from hotel to hotel trying to enforce properties that go rogue and make up their own rules in Bonvoy.

  10. They got rid of a name for their loyalty program that was already widely recognized and are now spending what must be very big bucks (during the Oscars!) trying to get name recognition for their loyalty program. Brilliant!

  11. I didn’t watch, so somebody please tell me how they pronounced it: bahn-voy or bohn-vwah (as in “bon voyage”).

  12. It was more than just one of the myriad of ads shown on the telecast — it was introduced by the announcer as a special short film — which made me stop fast forwarding — and then I realized it was a totally lame and ineffective promotion for Bonvoy. I had to explain to my befuddled hubby what Bonvoy was as he had no idea what the whole thing was about.

    I told him I was looking forward to the thrashing the commercial would receive on my favorite travel blog this morning. Please continue not to disappoint me:-)

  13. One word describes Bonvoy: Disaster.
    The ad only reaffirmed my commitment to avoid all 30 brands. So much of what I saw in the Ad conveyed ‘cheap for the masses’.

    Should be more like: “Bon………Oy!

  14. The focus seems to be millennials traveling to international vacation destinations and not business travelers. Maybe they should be trying to keep business travelers from bailing out of the “reimagined” program.

  15. After 18 years with SPG, there is no looking back. Hyatt and Hilton, plus boutique brands and condos moving forward. Cannot be said enough so Marriott hears it loud and clear when they read these blogs at meetings (WHICH THEY DO)!!. I’m sure they will be fine nonetheless…

    The commercial was dumb! What did Hilton say was their increase in HH membership over the past year, 18 million?

  16. “I am sure you all have more important things to be thinking about than a damn name.”

    Of course we do. Example: I’m thinking “Bonvoy” is a stupid way of re-branding Marriott Rewards, and at the same time, and more importantly, I’m thinking you are a moron for posting such a stupid book-length comment.


  17. My question is is who the f*** are the idiots that Marriott payed to come up this s*** And by this, I mean the entire Bonvoy program.

  18. You don’t have to have a business degree to know that Marriott will never, ever get a return from running these ads.

    If they think that someone will thousands of dollars to burn on a cash stay at the W Verbier will watch this video, and think “I’m gonna Bonvoy it”, they are DREAMING.

    Is a poorly thought of commercial going to keep SPG loyalists and Marriott elites from jumping ship to Hilton or running to Hyatt? I highly doubt it, but Marriott can keep dreaming.

  19. I have to admit, Marriott will get 97 more nights from me until I lock in lifetime Platinum. After that….Bonvoy

  20. “Bonvoy”, said no one, ever, who was not paid by Marriott…
    I agree with others, save the marketing dollars, keep Marriott Rewards and make a decent loyalty experience for your members.

  21. I agree with Lucky, Stogieguy and especially Christian. Not with Bonvoy-gate (Boy! Aren’t you the touchy one!)

    Sometimes the name is everything! In this case, it IS annoying. During the Oscars, they made it worse by playing the ad over and over. They picked a name (pulled out of the sky-pun intended for this blog), try to feature an “academy award” short film when you’re watching the best of the best movies, actors, actresses, etc, and end up selling the complete opposite of what they “reimagined.”

    The word, not the name, Bonvoy, is the first six letters of the French word “bon voyage,” a beautiful word, a beautiful language! But you can’t transform or shorten a beautiful French word into a cut-off, cutesich English term! It’s kindergarten skills! For business and marketing, it’s a turnoff.

    In short, it was the worst performance of (not the night) the year!

  22. I remember calling Marriott Customer Service with a small (points) issue to be resolved. At the end of the call, I asked if the agent knew about the rumors about the program being renamed to Bonvoy.

    The agent replied: “You’re the first one bringing this up. I haven’t heard about it.” She went on to explain that the rumor must be false, as Marriott consulted customer service about a possible name change and the entire department was unanimous about keeping it the way it is, as the new program was already too much change for a lot of clients and created a nightmare of complaints and issues to resolve. A change in name would just create another shit storm for them.

    And the next day, Marriott send out an email confirming the upcoming name change.

    Lacek Group is behind the name change, as they were for the 29 Ways fiasco back in the autumn. They don’t seem to get hints from the general public, nor from Marriott staff. They are alienating existing customers and hotel owners in an attempt to attract a few hipsters that will just stick to their cheaper Airbnb anyway.

    Where are the Marriott CEO and Loyalty VP now? No fancy David Flueck presentation? They must be hating it too.

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