Marriott Taps New Shop for Flagship Brand

Winner beats JWT, incumbent mcgarrybowen

Marriott Hotels & Resorts has found a new home.

After nine years with mcgarrybowen as lead creative agency, the hotelier is moving the account to the New York office of Grey after a review, Marriott has confirmed.

The new agency is tasked with developing ads for the flagship brand in North America that may run in overseas markets as well. Media spending behind the effort is estimated at $20 million.

The other contenders for the business were the New York offices of JWT and mcgarrybowen. Final presentations took place two weeks ago at Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md., with Joanne Davis Consulting in New York managing the process.

Despite the loss, mcgarrybowen remains a significant Marriott roster shop, handling a half-dozen other properties, including Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn. Marriott Hotels & Resorts represents Grey’s first piece of Marriott.

In confirming the selection, Susan Thronson, Marriott’s svp of global marketing, cited Grey’s Gen Y insights and the WPP Group shop’s “ability to engage consumers throughout their brand journey, regardless of the channel used or the location of the traveler.”

Tor Myhren, the president and chief creative officer of Grey, New York, in turn, described Marriott as an iconic brand with a rich heritage.

“But what energizes us most is their courage to change, innovate and challenge the status quo despite already being leaders in their industry,” Myhren added. “We can’t wait to get started.”