Last month Marriott International launched their high profile social marketing campaign in order to voice its commitment to the LGBT community. The campaign features a photo shoot of well-known gay and transgender celebrities as well as real couples at Marriott properties. Featured celebrities included Jason Collins and Geena Rocero. Collins, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets (NBA) made news as the first professional athlete to come out. Geena Rocero, a Filipina fashion model, recently shocked fans coming out as transgender. The initiative called for other customers to share photos of their own #LoveTravels experiences and highlighted them on a microsite built for the campaign.
The social media contest was a great example of a brand taking part in a larger conversation and engaging customers and potential customers around a more important issue than purely their own offering. As digital and social media continue to put the power of a brand into the hands of the consumer, the #LoveTravels campaign serves as a great case study into how companies can leverage the voice of their own customers to develop marketing initiatives.
The #LoveTravels initiative drew a huge amount of media coverage and positive sentiment across social media with consumers commending the Marriot for their dedication to the LGBT community. The campaign has received over 1,200 photo submissions on social media, with over 73,000 likes, and generated a reach of over 2.1MM impressions.