Vice President Marketing
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
Under Clayton Ruebensaal's leadership, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s new brand platform has come to life. In fact, Ritz-Carlton prefers to think of itself as being in the business of creating memories, a high ground in the hotel business, and as a result, eschews the usual copy and imagery of immaculate rooms, pools and spas. The brand platform, "Let Us Stay With You," turns a traditional approach on its head. Rather than telling customers, "come stay with us," The Ritz-Carlton promises an experience that will stay with their guests long after the actual stay ends. Images in print advertising are of serendipitous moments remembering a vacation or a successful business trip amid day-to-day life. Such an imprint is an invitation to return to The Ritz-Carlton simply by closing one’s eyes.
One of Clayton's greatest strengths is his tireless passion for the brand in support for bringing the idea of powerful memories to life. His approach is to design programs for each region that showcase the “creating memories” brand platform, while also speaking to core cultural or business insights. The result is that the brand promise stays the same; however, it is brought to life uniquely for each channel and region.
For example, in the Middle East, where authentic hospitality is time-honored, the focus is on the experiences The Ritz-Carlton creates, and how the hotel honors immaculate service. This message was delivered through an augmented reality experience, a first for that region. In China, where affluent consumers are maturing in their knowledge and appreciation of luxury goods at an unprecedented rate, the focus is on providing the crucial back story of The Ritz-Carlton brand, its unique heritage and pedigree, and why it should be considered at the very top of the category.
In the UK, the campaign’s goal is to present the brand in a modern light given lingering perceptions. Through rich media, advertorial and an event, the brand was portrayed as contemporary with a focus on user-generated content and unexpected experiences around the globe. In Japan, The Ritz-Carlton partnered with a leading lifestyle magazine. Rather than run print ads, it created portraits of Ritz-Carlton guests at each of the hotels in that country. The portraits were recreations of a guest’s powerful memories from that property that stayed with them ever since.
Clayton Ruebensaal has been with The Ritz-Carlton in his marketing role for just three years, following a meteoric agency career. He served as CEO of Beattie McGuinness Bungay as they opened in New York--just as BMB became agency of the year in the UK after three years in business. Prior roles included CEO of Cliff Freeman & Partners (2008-2009) and EVP, Business Director of BBDO for five years. Early career roles included positions at Deutsche and Grey.