Lets back up a bit. GoPro has built a reputation off of a unique style of camera, capturing some of the most amazing moments with some of the most unique angles. The classic GoPro lens distortion is synonymous with the brand, sparking brand recognition without even seeing the product. The best part about their brand though, is that people share the content they create with these cameras.
So where does this all fit in with the travel industry? Why has Marriott invested so much in loaning GoPro cameras to its guests? Check out some of the pros and cons and decide for yourself if it was the right decision. The Pros and Cons GoPro and Marriott:
1) Most Viewed Travel Content
In a 2014 recap, Google analyzed travel videos on YouTube. The biggest factor? People were watching travel and tour footage from normal people. They were not just watching it either, but participating as well. In an industry that is trying to communicate and build a connection with its customer this content is vital. The GoPro program will help to encourage customers to record their adventures and hopefully share them later.
2) Great Video Quality
When a guest uses a GoPro, they have already invested in creating a better video than what they would produce on their phone. It forces the user to shoot in a landscape format instead of a common portrait format that is synonymous with bad cellphone footage.
Not only is the footage a higher caliber, but the content can be as well. With a bit of encouragement by the front desk, the guest should feel comfortable taking the camera anywhere. Underwater, skydiving, even a bar or nightclub. The camera was built to capture angles that previously were impossible or extremely expensive.
1) Usage barrier to entry
Although simple on the outside, the camera does produce multiple file formats. This can be a frustrating experience for a guest when they go to upload the video and had been filming enormous 4k files. Not to mention they are on vacation or busy on a business trip, likely trying to just relax instead of figuring out new technology on their down time.
Although increasing in accessibility, there is still a time-consuming learning curve for using editing software. Building an engaging montage of a guests experience may be either a long delayed process or a project that never sees the light of day.
Unlike a simple selfie, taking videos or photos with a GoPro still requires exporting from the camera to a phone or computer. This may be one step too many, and a potential determinant over whether the content is shared or not.
As a videographer and editor, I believe there is an opening to invest a little into the service, beyond just providing the camera. Edit the footage for the guests into something they are proud to share. Or create a simple shot worksheet or checklist to help the customer get the most out of using the camera. When the goal is to have the customer share their experience with others, they should be proud of the content they share.
Within Skift’s review of Marriotts program, it mentions other social campaigns like the 1888 Hotel in Sydny. Although successful, the campaign focused on simple selfie sharing. The added benefit of the loaned GoPro is that it can be taken anywhere at a destination without worry of destroying it, all while capturing every experience in broadcast quality.
Supplying GoPro’s is a great idea and an excellent response to Google’s findings, but at the end of the day it will be the customer’s choice to post or not and eliminating the barriers is a large part of that decision.