Courtyard by Marriott Focuses New Campaign on How Millennials Are Redefining Work and Success

It's about pursuing passion, not climbing a ladder

Marriott says the campaign targets both millennials and those who share their views on a new definition of success. Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott, the largest brand within the world’s largest hotel company, today is launching a new ad campaign focusing on the passions and lifestyle of its millennial guests rather than highlighting the services it offers.

Debuting with a 60-second TV spot tonight on cable sports and entertainment channels—including those of the NFL, MLB and NBA; ESPN; BBC America; Food Network; Discovery; and National Geographic—the campaign is by the Chicago office of mcgarrybowen, the brand’s longtime agency.

The spot features a young woman traveling to destinations as far-flung as Chile, Singapore and Bangkok. She appears to be in a creative profession, interacting with weavers in a rural setting, making a purchase in a fabric store, drawing a design on a coaster while sitting at a bar. She also, of course, stays in various Courtyard hotels.

What makes the ad noteworthy—and what delivers its message—is its narration, in the voice of her father.

“I remember the day you looked at me and asked, ‘What now, Dad?’ So, I told you the same thing I was told: Now you find a job, any job. Work hard. Clock in, clock out. Do it again and again. You may not like it, but that’s work. That’s just how it is,” he says as we watch her world travels.

“Of course, you didn’t listen. You showed me there’s another way. And I hope one day, when your own kids ask ‘what now?’, you’ll tell them to do something you’re passionate about. I’m proud of you.”

The spot concludes with copy saying: “Passion moves us forward. It’s how you think. It’s how we think.”

Paige Francis, vp of global marketing for Marriott’s classic select brands, said Courtyard thinks of its “next generation of guests”—millennials and those who share millennials’ psychographics—as trailblazers who reflect societal shifts in their perceptions of success (“It’s no longer about a single achievement”) and who are more mobile than their predecessors.

“The spot is an articulation of our shared belief system, what drives us as a brand, how our guests pursue their passions in the world,” she said.

In addition to launching the new spot today, Courtyard also is introducing a new logo—with a font Francis called “modern and sleek”—and a new website.

Another version of the spot, featuring Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, will air later this week on ESPN during the NFL draft in Dallas; Courtyard has been the league’s official hotel brand since 2012. Other print, digital, radio and out-of-home advertising will be rolled out later this year.

All initiatives are part of a repositioning effort by Marriott for Courtyard that will also include revamped drinking and dining options at its Bistro restaurants, new collateral, and updated hotel exteriors.