Mullen Lowe Debuts Royal Caribbean’s New Look in First Campaign

By Patrick Coffee 

As we all know, Royal Caribbean chose to take the executive turnover narrative to its natural conclusion last year by launching reviews for its main brand and associated properties like Celebrity Cruises.

The parent company’s account, which had been with J. Walter Thompson for seven years, eventually went to the newly formed Mullen Lowe–which debuted its first new work for the client over the weekend.

The theme is that consumers who choose to visit exotic places via well-contained cruise ship environments are NOT tourists. What are they, then? They’re more like explorers. Totally different.

Here’s the anthem spot with the contrary title “This Is Not a Cruise.”

So that was an upbeat compilation of things that could theoretically happen to you while travelling on Royal Caribbean…which is most definitely a cruise line offering cruises to passengers on cruise ships. But the bald surfing dude definitely looked like he was feeling it, and Matt & Kim is a pretty good band.

The tagline is “Come Seek,” and the brand is obviously trying to move away from the stereotypical vision of what happens on a cruise. Here are a few sexy shorts.

So robot bartenders and kids dancing in some sort of man-made pool are not entries in the “You Might Be a Tourist If…” series.

Here’s another collection of upbeat shorts, which interestingly appear as “single commercial pods,” meaning they air during the same programs as the longer spots, separated by ads for other brands. (Mediahub came up with that strategy.)

The second :30 in the campaign elaborates on the “You Are Not a Tourist” concept by spending a bit more time with the series of experiences that MIGHT happen in some remote location that is not a cruise ship.

The copy elaborates on that idea:

“Dance to jing ping in Roseau one day. Paddle the waters of Friar’s Bay the next. Island-hop on ships that are smart islands themselves. Discover cultures, traditions, music, food, and landscapes. Explore Belize, Antigua, Dominica and Barbados. Go on the ultimate adventure. This isn’t the Caribbean. It’s the Royal Caribbean.”

That sounds like a super cool vacation, but it would definitely only happen to tourists on a cruise, and you already knew that. Anyway.

Client CMO Jim Berra told Adweek this morning that the work is “designed to attract the next generation of cruisers,” or people who balk at the idea that they might be…you know. He added, “taking the road less traveled and sharing their experiences via social media is core to how they enjoy life.”

He’s right, of course. But it is a cruise. And you are a tourist.