Remember that cruise you took a long time ago, probably with the grandparents, where the highlight was the endless (bottomless) buffet?
No wonder you haven’t done that again.
Carnival Cruise Lines knows the industry has some baggage, so to speak, and aims to wipe away those musty old images with its new “Choose Fun” campaign, its first with agency Anomaly.
Told from a vacationer’s point of view, the new ads aim “to inspire people who’ve never considered a cruise, or those who don’t think it’s for them,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “There are a lot of myths about cruising, and we’re trying to debunk them.”
Cruises aren’t just for old folks in formalwear, for instance, and they can be customized to suit a variety of personal interests. A sea vacation offers about as many options as dry land for entertainment, dining and activities, Duffy said, with a lineup on Carnival that includes IMAX theaters, live concerts, comedy clubs, spas, water parks, fitness centers, chef-prepped meals and something called “a bike ride in the sky” (check it out in one of the spots).
In picking the new agency, Duffy said she asked for “an evolution, not a revolution,” so loyalists would recognize the Carnival DNA while newbies could be attracted to a vacation they might not have considered before. Anomaly’s approach veered from the “sea of sameness” in the industry, she said, by pitching cruises with wry consumer testimonials and providing a catchy “bumper sticker” slogan.
In one spot, a snorkeling dad talks (underwater) about how much his family didn’t want to cruise to Cozumel, but they’ve changed their tune (and sampled the local conch). In another, a young introvert, Tracy, has discovered “a whole new crazy side” of herself (she ran the rapids of a water slide and told a stranger her name was Stacy).
“Choose Fun,” which launched Monday across out-of-home, radio, social and online, kicks off what the cruise business calls “wave season,” from January through March, when winter-ravaged consumers start booking their spring break and summer getaways. TV spots will air during high-profile event programming like the Grammy’s red carpet coverage and NFL playoffs.
Client: Carnival Cruise Lines