Ritz-Carlton’s new brand platform

‘Let Us Stay With You’ is the signature video that accompanies Ritz-Carlton’s new brand platform. With an overall goal of creating experiences and touch points for guests to make more of an emotional bond with the brand, the video is accompanied by artwork, messaging and digital experience platforms to reinforce this new communications approach.

“We made a deliberate decision not to call this a ‘campaign’ or ‘advertising program’ because we feel this platform is so much more than that,” said Chris Gabaldon, chief sales & marketing officer. “It 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 décor strategy.”

Video is simply an extension of the channels, Gabaldon adds. “It is one way to produce content to engage guests. It is not the cheapest proposition, nor something you can change quickly like a banner ad. It is more of an investment in time and effort.”

Debuting soon, video featurettes will spotlight the “artisans and craftmen” who put their heart into their work. Videos about the working lives of sommeliers, chefs du cuisine and even bellmen will be captured in video and disseminated via a variety of mediums. “The are not just housekeepers and chefs. They are artisans and craftsmen who put emotions and feelings into what they do,” Gabaldon says. “We can bring that to light via video, which gives us platform to explain and project the richness that comes with the brand.”

In addition to its own websites and customer events to expose videos, Ritz-Carlton often uses YouTube to disseminate its videos. As Gabaldon says, YouTube is the second largest search engine, and it is very important to be present there.

In fact, a vast amount of Ritz-Carlton’s marketing spend is on digital these day, ranging from video to Flash and banners. “ROI online has become very sophisticated,” Gadaldon adds. “We will track consumers when they leave to see if they book. Affluent take more time to make decision to purchase for leisure. It is becoming more complicated as they are tying in multiple stays and venues. We try to see how much time they are engaged with us and whether our content is of high enough quality so they continue to stay engaged.”

Whats next? Gabaldon says Ritz-Carlton is just touching the surface of video’s potential. “Travel is very inspirational and about sharing,” he says. “Because it is so social in nature, video a much better way to share, whether consumer produced or brand produced. Video is something that will live on channels and be pervasive in all social channels. As mobile becomes the new platform to engage social channels, video will become predominant. It will also put stress on the backbone of the Internet, putting more emphasis on short vignettes – 20 to 30 seconds that are quick, powerful, vivid that may become a series.”