- Fifty years ago, on Aug. 16, 1967, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta became the "Hotel of Hope" when it opened its doors to the leaders of the civil rights group the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The brand is now celebrating the anniversary of that event with a short film titled "Come Together," according to a news release made available to Marketing Dive.
- The short was created in collaboration with spoken word artist Tarriona "Tank" Ball, who performs a piece on what the moment meant 50 years ago when civil rights leaders were being turned away from other venues to meet, as well as how that moment is applicable today. It was directed by Simon Benjamin and made with the help of ad agency MullenLowe.
- "Come Together" debuted on The Atlantic as part of a digital collaboration between the publisher and Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The Atlantic will host additional content tied to the effort, including interviews with civil rights leaders Ball and Xernona Clayton. Hyatt Regency is promoting the short on its own website as well as Facebook and Instagram.
Hyatt Regency's short, while commemorating a specific moment for its Atlanta hotel, also arrives as a timely reminder of the atmosphere around the civil rights movement and its historical impact. These topics couldn't be more relevant following the tragic and horrific events in Charlottesville, Va., over the past weekend, where white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate monument in an episode that turned fatal when one counterprotester was killed.
A message of hope and inclusion is reassuring in such troubled times, and is delivered powerfully by Ball, who the release noted won this year's NPR Tiny Desk Contest.
"The events that took place at Hyatt Regency Atlanta 50 years were brave, and today we have the opportunity to retell the story in a poignant and modern way through Tank's powerful spoken word piece," MullenLowe Executive Creative Director Dave Weist said in a statement. "Most importantly, it captures the essence of World of Hyatt and its mission to foster a world of understanding and inclusion.”
World of Hyatt, a brand platform and loyalty program launched in March, centers on diversity and inclusion at a time when many marketers are wary to focus too much on politics in their messaging for fear of consumer backlash. "For a World of Understanding," the spot that launched World of Hyatt and was also created by MullenLowe, featured travelers across the globe, including a woman in a hijab and a black tourist exploring and finding new friends in Morocco.
Hyatt is ensuring the message of "Come Together," which takes a similar tack, has a far reach by not only promoting the short on its own website but also on social media channels Facebook and Instagram. The partnership with The Atlantic underscores how brands can work with publishers to build a more robust content package around their marketing, including through in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes looks.