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What I Learned About Marketing by Being Quarantined at the San Jose Marriott

March 4, 2015 — By Dr. Pete

After waking up with pink-eye the day after arriving at SMX West, I'm on my second day of quarantine. Having exhausted most of the reasonable hotel TV options, I made the mistake of watching the Marriott channel on a loop. After a while, the marketer in me just couldn't take it anymore, and so this is my point-by-point response to the "Travel Brilliantly" campaign.

This is not a hotel. It's an idea.

Ok, but it's also a hotel, right? I'm not paying $209 a night for an idea, because I've got plenty of ideas.

That travel should be brilliant.

Technically, travel, as an abstract concept, doesn't have measurable intelligence, but I'm gonna let this one slide.

A promise that space is as expansive as your imagination.

I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit. Are you talking about outer space? I'm not sure what outer space has to do with my hotel choices, but sure, it's pretty big.

Offering surprises that will change as often as you do.

So, about once a day? What if I just throw on a sweater for dinner? Does that count as "changing"?

Don't surprise me too early, because I don't handle that well. I don't want some concierge shouting "boo" just as I'm getting out of the elevator with hot coffee. Honestly, I'm not sure why I want this at all, let alone daily.

This is not four walls. It's reinvention that will open your mind.

Well, my room does have a hallway, so it's got like seven walls, depending on how you count.

Innovation that makes checking in as easy as a check-out.

I haven't checked out yet, so I'll hold out for more data.

And room to breathe.

Average human lung capacity is about six liters, and that's like 1/5 of a cubic foot. I'm not sure this is something to brag about. I could put my head in my backpack and technically have room to breathe.

This is not business as usual. It's a new way to inspire, create, connect, and yes, dream.

I'm on six prescription medications in a strange bed, so it's definitely a new way to dream – I'll give you this one. I'm not sure how being chased by man-eating chocolate Zingers across the forest moon of Endor is a net positive, but it is a new way to dream.

We're on a journey to make your travels uncomplicated. Unforgettable. Brilliant.

Cool – let us know when you arrive. I'm on a journey to watch as many episodes of Spongebob in a row as possible while making hats out of Kit Kat wrappers. We're all on a journey, man.

Because it's not only about where you're staying. It's about where you're going.

Are you going to follow me around town and ask to carry my bags? Are you going to pop into the bar and say "Um, I couldn't help but notice you're drinking here when we have a free happy hour from 5:00-5:08pm." I'm sorry, but this is just gonna get weird for me. How about you stay inside the hotel, keep an eye on things for me, and maybe I'll call you?