Mcgarrybowen and Marriott follow the golden rule

We’re living in pretty crappy times. I have never watched so much CNN in my life just to look at talking heads debate 45’s latest move which I’ve already read about in the Washington Post, New York Times and on various friends Facebook feeds.

Two week ago, there was Charlottesville. Who knows how many people will be shot in Chicago over the upcoming Labor Day Weekend?

We are a country that’s divided and spewing hate and vitriol back and forth like we’re in some kind of hate-induced tennis match.

That said, this powerful new category campaign for Marriott couldn’t come at better time. Called, “The Golden Rule,” the work from mcgarrybowen, Chicago supports Marriott International’s first foray into category marketing — Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Four Points by Sheraton and SpringHill Suites.

The agency states that the campaign was inspired by letters from real guests and their interactions with various Marriott staff.

The first 2-minute long video titled, “142.8 Miles from Home” about a female guest who has to be rushed to the ER, moved me to the point of a tear. Why? Not because mcgarry in-house director Robert Smith shot it so amazingly in black and white. And honestly, we’ve seen the cutting back and forth between customer and company person before going all the way back to Citibank.

I was moved because this video, as well as the others in the campaign, is genuine. It reminded me that in general people are good. And kind. And care. It makes us remember that we are all human and in some way, are interconnected. Watch the “142.8 Miles from Home” video below and you’ll see what I mean:



Chicago Chief Creative Officer Kurt Fries, also believes the timing is right for a campaign like this.

“While it’s an idea born of the brands, more importantly it’s a message right for the times. I firmly believe if we all took a second and looked to the left of us and to the right of us and treated each other like we like to be treated ourselves, we’d all be better off.”

The centerpiece of the campaign, “Human,” is a 60-second anthemic spot that celebrates Marriott’s history of warmth, familiarity and the genuine human connections. Directed by Elliott Rausch of Stink Films, starts off with a female VO that says, “It would be great if human beings were great at being human.” Amen. Watch “Broken Bus” (also directed by Rausch) here:



To complement the :60, the agency created a series of :30’s that feature individual stories of associates from each of the featured hotels delivering the golden rule philosophy in their own unique way.

The campaign’s multi-platform media plan will hit all screen sizes, first in the U.S. before expanding internationally next month in Canada, with a diverse media plan consisting of cinema, broadcast, in-flight and mobile.

The campaign takes us back to a time when agencies told brand stories that were more than commercials, but acted more like commentaries on us as a people and culture. This is why Marriott’s Golden Rule is RAW for this week.


Chief Creative Officer: Kurt Fries

Creative Directors:

Andres Arilia
Christian Lu
Julio Desir

Director of Content Production: Steve Ross

Producer: Sarah Tomick

Music Producer: Libby Morris

Director of Business Affairs: Joann Baker

Business Manager: Kiki Powel

Group Managing Director: Cindy Hicks

Account Managing Director: Sally Cox

Account Director: Michelle Casey

Account Executive: Haley Gibert

Executive Director of Strategy: Shawna Ross

Group Strategy Director: Sarah Figliolu

Strategist: Ana Borges

Production Company (spots) : Stink Films

Director : Eliot Rausch
Managing Director : Jeff Baron
EP: Fran McGivern
DP: Mattias Rudh

Production Company (videos): Workplace

Director : Robert Smith

Post: Whitehouse

Editor : Adam Marshall
Assist Editor: Alfred Cisneros
EP : Kristin Angeletti
Producer: Jojo Scheerer

Post Production: The Mill

EP: Andy Sommerville
Producer: Mike Pullan
Color: Matt Osbourne

Audio: Another Country

Audio Engineer: John Binder
Assistant Engineer: Mike Regan
EP: Tim Konn

Audio: Freelance

Sound designer/mixer: Katy Mindeman
(for the “True Story 142.8” version)

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