Getting into the Movie Making Business

It’s doubtful that hospitality firms, and for that matter, any company, will completely veer away from traditional advertising media such as print, television, outdoor billboards, PR, etc., but more and more each day, resources are being redistributed to make way for new media channels such as social media, internet search, and mobile. Some firms are even transitioning their entire marketing budgets over to new media!

New media offers an exciting and innovative way to communicate the brand promise. Today, where anything and everything can be online in a matter of minutes, potential customers have come to expect the ability to get a sense of what kind of experience you will offer to them, even before they buy. They want to know more about your brand and the promise it offers if they do choose you. And hotels have answered. Hotel websites have evolved from kind of of the web 1.0 version of online brochures to much more interactive sites where visitors can take virtual tours to explore property, check availability, engage in virtual experiences such as taking the guest’s view as they go down a water slide, and even watch short movies.

These short movies have recently exploded onto the scene as a particularly exciting medium which allows a consumer to be engaged with you brand promise for longer than the thirty or sixty second TV spots that used to be the industry norm. The ability to add live streaming video to websites or host entire YouTube or Vimeo channels of short videos has certainly ushered in a new era of very creative hospitality marketing, and a growing number of companies such as the Drake Hotel (featured video), the Ritz-Carlton (below), and Royal Caribbean are taking this opportunity to produce very slick, professional videos. And these videos run the gamut from one- to two-minute lifestyle videos that use highly stylized images of model target customers, to even longer video vignettes of ten minutes or more that tell a story of the brand through a fictional customer’s eyes.

Another branch of video marketing that many companies are now starting to explore is consumer-generated video. While these videos don’t require much time or effort on your part and they can reap huge benefits in the form of positive and organic testimonials shared by customers to customers, there is the risk of brand drift.