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Marriott’s advertising campaign: A new and interesting way to attract attention to a hotel, isn’t it? (By Yi Tien Tsou)

“Make everyone feel comfortable being who they are, everywhere they travel” (“Whoever You Are, Wherever You Go”, para. 1). This phrase has become a slogan for a number of Marriott hotels during the last year. The essence of the chosen ad campaign is to support the ideas and choices of the same-sex couples. Marriott decided to cooperate with a famous photographer, Braden Summers, and introduce certain powerful images of gays, lesbians, transgender representatives, and bisexuals as evidence that cannot be neglected. Several popular models, like Jason Collins and Geena Rocera, were invited to the campaign. It helped to attract many tourists from different parts of the world and make them choose Marriott as a hotel to stay in. However, a question takes place – whether the chosen approach is effective enough not to frighten away those consumers, who cannot understand or accept the role of same-sex relations.
About advertising
Marriott pricing strategies are usually based on promotions and sales campaigns. A hotel should introduce an idea and offer it to the customers in a proper way. The hotel may not use several campaigns at the same time on a regular basis. Hotel managers find it successful enough to create one powerful idea and develop it till it works. The essence of any ad campaign is to share a single idea, attract people, and use it until it helps to sell a product. People have to hear about a hotel, evaluate an idea, and make a decision whether to address it or not. However, an idea offered for a campaign should not be offensive for a person or affect someone’s life. Considering such definitions and peculiarities, the effectiveness of the campaign by Marriott hotel may be doubtful.
About a campaign
#Love Travels and cooperation with Braden Summers help the hotel to have its images on the streets of New York, San Francisco, and Washington (Nelson). Of course, it is wrong to believe that a few people may know about Marriott hotels, still, now, more people know that Marriott is one that supports an idea of same-sex relations. The hotel encourages its guests and travelers to share their emotions, experiences, and stories about how it is to be in a relation with a person of the same sex. It should not be another kind of incommodity to overcome or a challenge to survive. A visit to a hotel should be a chance to tell a story and help other people to understand the life of gays and lesbians in this cruel world.
About the question that bothers
Is it a good idea for a hotel to demonstrate such a bright and powerful theme for discussion? On the one hand, everything seems to be quite normal: people, who face challenges demonstrating their priorities in relations, may find a kind of support in a hotel. On the other hand, it is necessary to remember that there are still many people, who do not want to understand same-sex marriages. They have children and do not want these children know about the possibility to begin relation with a person of the same sex. So, is it justified for a hotel to attract one group of people with narrow-minded interests at expense of another group of people, who do not want to understand the same idea? Is it so effective? In addition, can a hotel put itself under a threat of being called prejudiced with an issue of same-sex relations using this topic for its campaign?



About the Author

Yi Tien Tsou is a student at the Collins College of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly Pomona, with a major in Hospitality Management. He is taking Dr. Kwok's course because I want to learn about sales, adverting, and public relations. This is Yi Tien's second years and second to last quarter before he graduates. Besides going to school full time, Yi Tien is also working at a tea shop called Ten Ren’s Time Tea in Arcadia. 

References: 
Nelson, Sara. “#LoveTravels: Marriot Hotel Social Media Ad Campaign Welcomes LGBT Community.”Huffington Post UK 4 Jun.2014. Web. 24 Jan.2015.
“Whoever You Are, Wherever You Go - #Love Travels.” Marriott News Center 2 June 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2015.

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