In search of some fresh thinking for its growing gift amenities program, Marriott Certificate Marketing turned to Husk Jennings in Jacksonville, Fla., after a review of several roster shops.
The client said the budget is $500,000.
Marriott Certificate Marketing (MCM) is an arm of Marriott Lodging in Washington, D.C. Company policy called for MCM to review at least three agencies, said client senior marketing manager Dianne Beard. Projects had been handled internally and by various agencies.
Aside from Husk Jennings, Beard considered McCann-Erickson in New York, the agency of record for Marriott's signature brands--Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts; and Hunt-singer & Jeffer in Richmond, Va., which does work for one of the client's time-share properties.
In the end Beard preferred an advertising agency with some distance from the company. "When you're so immersed in Marriott as a lodging company . . . it's difficult to look at Marriott selling a retail product," Beard explained, adding that Husk Jennings understands "the importance of representing a brand."
Husk Jennings is not a complete stranger to the hotel chain, though; Marriott Vacation Club International was a client several years ago, said Del Galloway, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the $13 million shop.
The agency has re-created the corporate identity for MCM's gift certificate program, and will develop print advertising, direct marketing and point of sales materials.
For print ads, Husk Jennings created the theme: "Live it, love it, give it. Marriott gift certificates, the gift that's always right."
Marriott gift certificates are available for dining, weekend getaways and golfing.