Marriott’s Puzzling Short Film, “Two Bellmen”

Filed Under: Marriott, Videos

It’s not unusual for airlines and hotels to try and generate buzz by coming up with some “unique” media. One example is British Airways’ “Visit Mum” campaign:

Does it actually give you a reason to fly British Airways over another carrier? Nope. But it evokes emotions that almost everyone can relate with, and you’ll always associate them with British Airways. Of course, a video doesn’t have to be emotional to be memorable. It can be funny, action-packed, or what-not.

Marriott has taken a stab at this with their short film, entitled “Two Bellmen.” Here’s how they describe the nearly 18-minute movie:

Two Bellmen is an action-comedy from Marriott Content Studios about, well, two bellmen who prove their company loyalty when the JW Marriott LA LIVE comes under siege by “The Purple Panthers,” the most notorious smash and grab art thieves of our time. The film is a comedic, genre-bending explosion of parkour, martial arts, dance and music action.

Here’s the official movie, which was released last week:

On the plus side, the movie was action-packed given how short it was. It wasn’t boring, and it got right to the point. It’s not necessarily my preferred type of movie, but it was definitely action-packed, if nothing else.

At the start of the movie, I was puzzled why Marriott would want us to associate the bellmen with their brand. One of the bellmen only cares about tips and is throwing bags.

And then when the real action starts, I’m not sure what the message is supposed to be. Apparently the bellmen “prove their company loyalty” by almost dying over a painting?

What lesson did I take away from the movie? Violence is awesome, Marriott hotels don’t have good security, people working at the JW Marriott have bad work ethic, bellmen only care about tips, and material things are worth dying for.

Now can someone explain to me why a hotel would want themselves to be associated with that?

Does anyone take away a different message from the movie?

  1. Thanks Lucky, your post here made me burst out laughing when you got to talking about the mixed messages being sent. Instead of making movies, I’d rather hotel chain management put resources into quality control!

  2. It’s a part of their storytelling. David Beebe is Marriott’s VP of Global Creative and Content and a former Disney-ABC Television exec. They are trying to build a community to drive brand preference is largely commodity industry. Unusual things like videos, music, books to enhance their brand and provide an emotional attachment.

  3. I stopped watching this pointless dribble at around 1:26. Terrible. If this is what it takes to sell hotel rooms, then something is seriously wrong here.

  4. True, promotional video of Mandarin Orient , Four Season and Fairmont are old and clinche. But this is definitely not the correct way to showcase your hotel. It really freaks me out when I see the way they treat luggages. Seriously? If it is real, I would call polices. It is a video showing everything a bellman should not do.

  5. Bizarre. The strongest theme I got from this movie was the bellmen mishandling bags and throwing them about the place. That isn’t exactly the lasting marketing message a hotel chain would be looking for.

  6. It’s about starting a conversation. It’s targeted at millennials… who have repeatedly stated that they no longer want stock ads about features, benefits, and brand identity. They reward variety, risk, etc. Most importantly there is a great appeal to a brand not taking itself so seriously. Does anyone seriously think the silly aspects of this genuinely speak to the quality and luxury at a hotel? Do you think the AFLAC duck is real? I would argue the story I saw was one of service above all. I agree this was a bit random but it kept me engaged. I felt like I was seeing something with actual personality. I think ultimately the old guys want their ads the way they’ve always been – vanilla. Those will always be around. As for those who are about 35 and under… peak my interest!

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