Marriott Ad Campaign Coaches Business

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) announced it will launch a national advertising campaign today featuring Steve Young and Jerry Rice, Mike Ditka, Lou Holtz and Jon Gruden. In each of the four spots, the celebrity players and coaches share personal advice with business travelers on how to get the most out of their trip and gain a competitive edge. The ads will air on major network and cable stations, including ABC Monday Night Football, Saturday college football, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNBC, ESPN, Telemundo and Black Entertainment Television.

The campaign represents Marriott’s third wave of television advertising in less than seven months and promotes the Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Courtyard by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; and Fairfield Inn by Marriott lodging brands. Each ad delivers the “Your Marriott Awaits” tagline and spotlights a special Marriott Rewards® offer - make three separate stays, earn two free weekend nights and Silver elite level status.

As part of the campaign, Marriott will debut a new Courtyard by Marriott ad starring football greats Steve Young (former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers) and Jerry Rice (former 49er and current wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders). Spots will also feature Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden (Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites); former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka (Residence Inn); and Lou Holtz, current head coach for the University of South Carolina, motivational speaker and former head coach for University of Notre Dame (Fairfield Inn).

“We’re aggressively promoting our brands and building on the momentum and success of our previous campaigns,” said Deborah Fell, senior vice president, marketing strategy, at Marriott. “We’ve selected five highly successful, recognizable and motivational coaches and players to engage the business traveler. The use of celebrity sports figures separates us from the competition and has strong appeal among our target audience. Playing off the brand message with a high-value Marriott Rewards offer gives business travelers an additional reason to make their next stay at on of our brands.”

The celebrity players interrupt typical business trips to provide motivational advice and describe the core attributes of each brand. The newly filmed Steve Young and Jerry Rice ad opens with a business traveler getting the luggage out of his car in an airport parking lot. He is startled to find Steve Young and Jerry Rice standing in front of maps of the U.S. complete with push pins highlighting their respective travels. The comic duo begins arguing over who had the most touchdowns in the most cities. The former teammates escalate their argument into insults ranging from “butterfingers” to “pretty boy” as they compete for the business traveler’s attention. The voice-over steps in with, “Wherever business takes you, Courtyard has what you need to be successful.” The Marriott Rewards “Take 2” offer concludes the ad, and the toll-free reservations number 1-888-MARRIOTT, web address, and the company tag-line “Your Marriott Awaits” appear on the screen. The ad campaign was developed by Marriott’s national agency, McCann-Erickson, New York.


Simultaneous with the television advertising, Marriott will launch a multi-brand print campaign in USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Traveler, Hispanic Business, and Black Enterprise. The print ads will also include SpringHill Suites by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Resorts and Suites, and JW Marriott Hotels. In addition, will conduct a football-themed sweepstakes. Prizes include a trip to the Super Bowl where the winner will meet Steve Young.
The Marriott Rewards “Take Two” promotion offers members two free weekend nights plus special elite status and benefits when they stay three separate times from Oct. 14, 2002, through Jan. 31, 2003, at any of more than 2,300 Marriott hotels worldwide. To become eligible, members must register for the Marriott Rewards “Take 2” offer via or by calling 1-888-MARRIOTT (627-7468).

Once earned, the two free weekend nights may be redeemed separately or consecutively any Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday through June 30, 2003.