Carnival Sails on Xmas Cruise

BOSTON The world’s largest inflatable beach ball and piñata — certified by Guinness World Records — are the unlikely stars of Carnival Cruise Lines’ upcoming national TV campaign that kicks off on Christmas Day.
This marks the first major push for the client by Havas’ Arnold since the Boston-based agency added the business in a review that concluded in May. The tagline: “Fun for all. All for fun.”
Up first: a pair of 30-second spots shot during events staged by the agency in Dallas and Philadelphia, and which already garnered considerable publicity for the cruise line.
In “Beach Balls,” a Carnival Fun Team rolls the items in question (each 35 feet in diameter) off rooftops in downtown Dallas. The other ad, filmed in Philadelphia, features a huge donkey piñata — six stories tall — filled with 8,000 pounds of candy.
The goal, according to Pete Favat, Arnold’s CCO, is to illustrate Carnival’s commitment to fun, rather than just tell consumers that the cruise line offers a good time. “You can’t help but have a good time watching them,” he said of the new commercials.
Noam Murro directed the spots, which will run on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and various cable networks, as well as in theaters nationwide. Arnold sibling MPG handles buying chores.
Carnival typically spends $70 million annually in measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
The win returned Arnold and MPG to cruise-line business following their loss of the Royal Caribbean account last year after working with that client for a decade. A WPP Group team led by JWT and Mindshare ultimately won that account.

Despite the sagging economy, Carnival recently reported fiscal-year revenue up 12 percent to $14.6 billion. Royal Caribbean, by way of comparison, said its revenue for the first nine months of the year rose 9 percent to $5.1 billion, compared to the same period in 2007.