Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ritz Carlton Wants to Stay With You


Hotel Chatter: Once upon a time, an international hotel brand become so self-assured that it started an ad campaign telling people it could "move heaven and earth, then move it back" as well as "stop time for a day." Well, heaven would be nice, and we would sure love an extra-extra-long weekend, but maybe we could just start with a free breakfast?

Ritz-Carlton is going for the road-less-traveled approach with its new "Let Us Stay With You" ad campaign. The slogan, which at first sounds like they are asking to spend the night at your house, actually refers to the brand's commitment to making each guest's experience as memorable as possible.

From tailored suits to fireworks to baby turtles to champagne to something called senbazuru (a type of origami)—Ritz-Carlton has suddenly become like the upscale department store of the hotel world. Whatever you want, they'll provide. And even if you didn't necessarily think you wanted it, they'll go ahead and provide it anyway.

A 3-minute film (top) accompanies the campaign's shiny new print ads (one of them is pictured above), which have been appearing in the pages of travel magazines and newspapers. The clip, which flashes the same two words ("Let us...") juxtaposed with different appealing scenarios , is designed to be a "dynamic, ever-changing online portal that allows ladies and gentlemen to publicly curate triumphant stories of luxury service and care." Which would lead us to think that guests can submit their own ideas of 'unforgettable experiences' to be brought to life in the film as well. But no clear submission process has been announced.

Though, keep in mind, the hotel does not want this to be called a "campaign" or "advertising program." Because that would be dirty. Instead, this is a "Brand Platform" that rolls out images and slogans and propaganda in ways very similar to advertising campaigns. But we won't hold it against them. If a picture with some well-placed text is capable of getting people to book a stay at a Ritz-Carlton of their choosing, then they've done a good job.

And why wouldn't it be successful? According to Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Chris Gabaldon:

"We worked with a dynamic cross-section of more than 35,000 ladies and gentlemen around the world to define the pillars of the new brand platform.

[The platform] is a series of guidelines which inform how we interact with our guests, which new products and services we introduce, how we train and evangelize our employees, and even our design d├ęcor strategy."

Yeah, yeah. But how can we get our hands on some baby turtles? Those cute little guys can stay with us any day of the week!

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