Norwegian Cruise Line Docks Its Account at Young & Rubicam

CHICAGO-Norwegian Cruise Line’s advertising will take a decidedly different tack under new agency Young & Rubicam in Chicago, named to replace Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the client said last week.
Unhappy with Goodby’s sensual image work, Norwegian Cruise Line handed Y&R its $15-25 million account without a review. Y&R was helped by a previous relationship with Nina Cohen, vice president of marketing at Coral Gables, Fla.-based NCL.
Cohen worked with Y&R’s New York arm and Chicago office, headed by Pat Cafferata, while at Disney Cruise Lines two years ago. Amid reports that Norwegian Cruise Line was dissatisfied with Goodby, Y&R Chicago made a call to the company and then was invited to give a strategic presentation in June.
“We were very impressed,” Cohen said. Some 70 other agencies contacted the company, but no other presentations were made, Cohen said.
Creative work has yet not been presented, but a trade campaign is expected in the fourth quarter, Cohen said.
The work will dramatically differ from Goodby’s dreamy “It’s different out there” campaign, which won the shop plenty of awards but little favor with new Norwegian Cruise Line management.
Norwegian Cruise Line’ executives announced their desire for more product-focused ads earlier this year [Adweek, Feb. 10].
The Goodby work was “provocative and different and beautiful, but not informative and relevant,” Cohen explained.
“At the end of the day, you read those ads and didn’t know anything about our company,” she said. “To say it’s ‘different’-most consumers don’t understand what that means.”
Y&R’s experience changing the image of Sears, Roebuck & Co. with the “Softer side of Sears” campaign might be useful when it comes to handling client Norwegian Cruise Line. Sears had a well-known name but was surrounded by glitzier retailers and had to find a suitable niche.
Norwegian Cruise Line shelved the last proposed campaign by Goodby and then produced in-house a television commercial that used on-screen text describing features of the ships.
Colin Probert, president of Goodby, described the parting with Norwegian Cruise Line as mutually agreed upon. “Both sides decided the arrangement was not working out,” Probert said. -with Jane Irene Kelly

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