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Marriott International’s Content Studio in MIPTV Spotlight

Global Hospitality Leader Named MIPTV Brand of the Year 2015.

Photo: TWO BELLMEN (l.-r. William Spencer, Daniel “Malakai” Cabrera, and Caine Sinclair)
Photo: TWO BELLMEN (l.-r. William Spencer, Daniel “Malakai” Cabrera, and Caine Sinclair)

The global hospitality leader Marriott International, Inc., (NASDAQ: MAR) has been named MIPTV’s 2015 Brand of the Year in recognition of its highly innovative all-screens initiative through its global Content Studio.

MIPTV 2015 will host the Brand of the Year Award for the 5th edition reflecting how video marketing and branded entertainment have become an integral part of brands’ strategies and an opportunity for the entertainment business. 

The Marriott Global Content Studio is dedicated to publishing, distributing and sharing digital content across multiple platforms and all screens, in partnership with leading producers and creators both from traditional and digital media. To further the company’s focus on next-generation travellers and to drive new business, the studio aims to own original content marketing as both a travel company and a worldwide community.

As part of the Brand of the Year recognition, Karin Timpone, Marriott International’s Global Marketing Officer, and David Beebe, VP, Marriott Global Content Studio, will lead a MIPTV keynote on Tuesday 14 April. The panel will also include a producer and some of the talent involved in the Marriott Content Studio productions. The Marriott keynote session will be part of the MIP Digital Fronts programme, bringing together the new video ecosystem with the TV industry.

In the wake of the creation of Marriott’s Global Content Studio, the company has announced a string of talent partnerships to feed its global content pipeline.

In one of many production development deals, Marriott’s recently-announced first short film, Two Bellmen, is a collaboration with renowned dance, parkour, extreme sports, martial arts, and music collective Substance Over Hype. Directed by Daniel “Malakai” Cabrera, Two Bellmen features the landmark JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE as a “character” in the film. The short film’s production started on January 6, and stars William Spencer (Spider-Man; Spider-Man 2) and Caine Sinclair (NBC’s Grimm; How I Met Your Mother) as The Bellmen.  The cast also includesHenry Simmons (Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.); Miles Brown aka Baby Boogaloo (ABC’s Black-ish); Sophina Brown (Shark; Numb3rs; The Good Wife); noted B-boy dancer Josue “Beastmode” Figueroa(Southland, Step Up Revolution); Josue Antonio (Step Up series; The LXD); Taryn Southern (The Single Life); and So You Think You Can Dance hip hop legend, Stephen “tWitch” Boss (Step Up films; So You Think You Can Dance; Magic Mike XXL), as well as other amazing talents from Substance Over Hype. Two Bellmen will also feature cameos by AMP Live, Scarub, and Fingazz.

In another development deal, Marriott is collaborating with producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses of Sander/Moses Productions/SLAM to develop a branded digital project together. Sander/Moses have an astonishing 11 TV series (including Ghost Whisperer and Profiler), four feature films (including D.O.A.), and dozens of digital projects to their credit.

Other projects include The Navigator Live, a Renaissance Hotels TV series distributed on AXS TV, produced in partnership with AEG. 

Marriott International also inked category exclusive development deals with YouTube stars and content creators, including Louis Cole (@funforlouis), Taryn Southern, Sonia Gil, Vagabrothers and Jack Harries (jacksgap).

Marriott has signed numerous content and distribution partnerships including, the publishing platform launched by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and What’s Trending with Damon Berger and Shira Lazar.

Marriott Hotels has joined with Snapchat-focused marketing and analytics agency Naritiv to become the first major hotel company on Snapchat. The campaign will feature Shaun McBride (@Shonduras), one of the first Snapchat-born influencers, and the hilarious Brittany Furlan (@brittanyjfurlan). Storytellers will travel to Marriott Hotels properties around the globe, co-creating their trip itineraries with their followers and documenting their journeys through their own Snapchat stories. Other contributors will include YouTube, Commercial Director and TV show creator Casey Neistat (@caseyneistat), and Louis Cole (@funforlouis), a British filmmaker and YouTube personality. 

“Our goal is to produce engaging content that builds communities of people passionate about travel, that will drive commerce,” said Beebe. “These deals expand both the depth of our content play as well as its breadth, by reaching into a new content area where few brands – and no other hospitality brands – have ventured before.”

“This kind of collaboration with both traditional and emerging online media represents a new step forward in programming, with candid and spontaneous use of platforms like Snapchat in a serial form, capturing users’ attention in fresh ways. It is very exciting to see a premium travel brand like Marriott embracing 21st century global interconnection of media in this way,” said Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division, organiser of MIPTV.

Past winners of the MIPTV Brand of the Year Award include Amex, Heineken, Intel, Vice Media, and PIRO & Chipotle in 2014 for the “Farmed & Dangerous” series on HULU.

About MIPTV - MIPTV is the world’s biggest TV and digital content market powering the unlimited potential of extraordinary stories. In April, professionals from across the TV and digital entertainment ecosystem gather in Cannes, France, to forge partnerships, seal distribution deals, network with their international executive peers, and attend high-level conferences and keynotes. MIPTV is also a key venue for early-stage development and financing deals, content acquisitions and programme sales. And with the MIP Digital Fronts - the premier global digital content market - empowering the new digital content era and bringing together the new online video ecosystem with the TV industry, MIPTV anticipates and shapes the future of entertainment.

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