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Marriott banks on mobile video to drive bookings

The Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites mobile video ad

Marriott’s Fairfield Inn & Suites is using mobile video advertisements to drive last-minute hotel bookings.

The expandable banner ads feature a video with a prominently-placed button underneath that encourages users to book a room on the spot. The ads are running inside the TV.com iPhone application.

“We know that our target audience, the highly-productive frequent business traveler is constantly on the go and relies heavily on their mobile devices when on the road,” said Kathleen Coney, director of brand marketing at Fairfield Inn & Suites, Bethesda, MD.

“Mobile is a critical element of our larger integrated marketing plan with the objective of driving awareness and consideration of Fairfield Inn & Suites with the frequent business traveler audience,” she said.

“Video is a major component of our overall campaign because video gives us the chance to tell the brand story in an engaging way as well as an opportunity to showcase the brand’s new design and amenities. We believe that video on mobile can be just as impactful as on a desktop or laptop.”

Instant bookings
The Fairfield Inn & Suites banner ads are placed along the bottom of the app with the company’s logo and tagline, “Let’s get it done.”

When tapped on, the ads expand with a 30-second promotional video that is part of a broader marketing campaign, showing how the hotel brand is aimed at making life easier for consumers.

Users can then tap to book a hotel, where they are redirected to a landing page. Via the landing page, users can tour the hotels, watch videos and view the hotel’s amenities.

To book a room, consumers can choose the days of their stay and can either type in their ZIP code or use their device’s GPS to find the nearest hotel.

The mobile landing page also promotes Marriott’s mobile app with a link to Apple’s App Store.

Users can also view photos of hotels by tilting their devices into portrait mode.

Fairfield Inn & Suites’ Faceboook page is actively promoted to let users “like” the page and see what others are saying about the company.

Users can view more about the hotels via a mobile landing page

Stay on mobile
Marriott has seen a lot of success in mobile bookings.

Recently, the company revealed that 50 percent of its smartphone bookings are for same-day stays (see story).

Additionally, last year Marriott launched its iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps and a refreshed mobile site to keep up with consumers looking to quickly book a hotel room (see story).

Although some consumers might use their devices to book for a trip in the future, mobile bookings are traditionally used for last-minute stays, often when consumers are already at their destination.

Therefore, a video ad is a unique way to target a consumer who might not be in the moment to book a hotel right there on the spot. In addition to securing a booking, hotels can also leverage mobile advertising to reinforce a brand’s image.

“Mobile video advertising allows hotels, and other brands, to interact with highly-engaged consumers on their single-task mobile devices, creating unparalleled immersion and results,” said Paul Bremer, chief revenue officer at Rhythm NewMedia, Mountain View, CA.

“Premium content is the best environment for advertising,” he said.

“Because consumers are willing to watch an ad to access premium content, in-stream mobile video ads have an industry-leading 89 percent completion rate.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York