Realities of Carnival

They didn’t think they’d love it, but they did. That’s what drives Cooper HMS Partners’ new reality-based advertising campaign for Carnival Cruise Lines.

The Coral Gables, Fla., shop has launched a series of television ads that detail highlights— food, sports, romance—of the cruise experience.

Created by Ric Cooper, chief executive officer and copywriter, and Troy Hayes, executive creative director, the 30-second television commercials will air through 2001 on network shows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Titans and Judging Amy. Cable buys will include Lifetime, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel, A&E, TBS and Comedy Central.

The agency sent amateur actors and their families on Carnival cruises. It later interviewed the travelers in various Florida locations.

“We wanted people with preconceived ideas about this kind of vacation,” said Cooper. “Fifty percent of this business is repeat customers.”

Directed by Peter Kagan ofStieffel & Co. in Los Angeles, each spot for the Miami-based client focuses on a positive aspect of the cruise experience. For example, a happy husband confesses, “Keep your wife happy … and the rest of your life is a whole lot easier.”

Some people avoid cruises because the trips become floating food fests. In Cooper’s most effective television commercial, a chubby couple, seduced by the dessert bars aboard ship, laugh at themselves. “They had diet desserts. They were good … the one piece we tried,” says the wife.