A few years ago, if a chap with a camera asked for a free hotel room so he could take pictures not of the accommodation but the view, what would be the most likely answer?
More likely a "no" than a "yes".
But when the chap with the camera is well known for creating beautiful time-lapse videos for uploading on the web, and will credit the hotel as a sponsor, then perhaps the answer changes.
Mindrelic (real name: Josh Owens) did exactly that recently, spending a month in various Manhattan hotel rooms so he could create this masterpiece of a clip to showcase New York City.
Mindrelic - Manhattan in motion from Mindrelic on Vimeo.
Owens went on to list all the hotels that sponsored the shoot in the Vimeo page hosting the clip, including links to Facebook pages so users can quickly "like" the property.
The price of helping out Owens? Probably negligible against other marketing activities. The result? Just short of half a million views of the clip in less than two weeks.
User generated content, once again, trumping traditional marketing efforts.