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Royal Caribbean Spots Set Sail

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Royal Caribbean has unveiled a national television push from Arnold Worldwide designed to drive customers to its Web site for a taste of "virtual cruising."

A series of 30-second TV spots from the Boston-based agency utilizes the percussive pop song "Lust for Life" as a soundtrack for colorful, quick-cut images of vacationers having fun aboard the client's cruise ships, splashing in the ocean with stingrays and enjoying the sites—including Tivoli and the famed "Little Mermaid"—of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The commercials close bydirecting viewers to www.royalcaribbean.com. "Get out there" is the new tagline for the campaign, which breaks this week and will run throughout the year.

Though the "Get out there" line has been used in some Royal Caribbean advertising in the past, that positioning is emphasized in the breaking TV spots, which forego the "Like no vacation on earth" theme Arnold coined last year and continues to use in print ads.

Despite its carefree appeal and endless holiday imagery, the cruise industry can be cut-throat, with tight profit margins and fierce competition.

The overall goal of the campaign is to convince consumers to book passage, online or otherwise, by giving them a multi-layered experience of what a cruise will be like, said Pam Hamelin, executive vice president of Arnold. The spots provide "a very brief taste" of that experience, which is reinforced at the Web site, where the actors who appear in the commercials are featured in different vacation scenarios, she said.

At the online venue, visitors can also experience a sampling of virtual cruise activities, such as motorboating and feeding stingrays.

That content was developed by Arnold's interactive unit; sister shop Circle.com handled back-end technology chores.

"[Consumers] can really experience what a cruise is all about," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Miami-based Royal Caribbean.

Arnold has handled creative duties and media planning on the business since late 1999.

Broadcast buying is performed by The Media Edge in New York.

Royal Caribbean spent $30 million on advertising its namesake brand through the first nine months of 2000, per Competitive Media Reporting. Spending will be slightly increased in 2001.