Arnold Bangs the Drum for Carnival

Arnold makes some noise for Carnival Cruise Lines in spots that use Todd Rundgren’s percussive ’80s tune “Bang the Drum All Day” and a voiceover by actor John Krasinski of The Office.

Spots retain the “Fun for all. All for fun” tagline introduced in late 2008 and take a lighthearted look at various activities families can enjoy on Carnival cruises. (Gone is last year’s frenetic commercial pitch character, the Carnival “fun director.”)

One commercial shows a typical balding, middle-aged dad busting some unexpected dance-floor moves and generally having too good of a time in the eyes of his teenage daughter.

Another ad depicts the transformation folks undergo as soon as they board the ship, while a third celebrates the “one-armed photos” taken by cruisers when they try to squeeze everybody into the shot, including the person holding the camera.

An effort was made to show the social and participatory nature of Carnival vacations, said Jim Berra, client CMO.

Added Arnold CCO Pete Favat: “People who want to have pure fun on a vacation will see themselves in the work, and that connection should help propel interest.”

The spots began airing nationwide this week on network morning shows as well as prime-time series like The Office, NCIS: LA and The Mentalist.

Also, the commercials will run throughout the 17 days of Winter Olympics coverage on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and USA. (Carnival is the exclusive cruise line advertiser for the 2010 Winter Games.) The client will also sponsor the athletes’ section on
Carnival spends about $70 million annually on ads, per Nielsen. Boston-based Arnold added the business in May 2008 following a review.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.