Eschewing the bright and sunny, carefree look of a run-of-the-mill cruise line commercial, Celebrity Cruises and London-based creative agency Lucky Generals turned to ’60s psychedelia and every owner of a black light’s favorite piece of literature for their new campaign, “Wonder Awaits.”
While it’s not clear what induces the surreal trip (a vacation without children, perhaps?), the familiar drumbeat of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” prepares us for the Alice in Wonderland-inspired commercial that follows.
Celebrity’s version of Alice navigates a giant sushi table, a house of mirrors and a presumably small jungle filled with trapeze artists before being awakened by the ship’s captain, played by real-life Capt. Kate McCue, who became the first U.S. woman to take command of a mega cruise ship in 2015.
It’s an interesting spot for a typically conservative industry, which is now beginning to market itself to young professionals—see Virgin Voyages’ adults-only cruise line.
The ad’s creative agency, TBWA-owned Lucky Generals, is best known for creating Amazon’s 90-second celebrity-filled “Alexa Loses Her Voice” Super Bowl spot in 2018 and its 2019 follow-up about voice-activated devices that don’t make the cut.
“‘Wonder Awaits’ is about bringing the experience of cruising with Celebrity to life in a dramatic, beautiful way,” said Peter Giorgi, CMO of Celebrity Cruises, in a statement about the campaign. “We wanted to show how unexpected moments, impeccable service and stunning design create a trip that is truly wonderful and provides our guests with a break from reality, even just for an instant.”
“We want viewers to see Celebrity the way we see Celebrity: as a modern and progressive brand with an incredible and unique product,” said James Fox, Lucky Generals managing partner. “We hope to convey the same feelings of wonder and intrigue you get from being on a Celebrity cruise in a fresh way.”
The ad premiered during Sunday’s 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.
Client: Celebrity Cruises
Agency: Lucky Generals
Production company: Iconoclast
Director: Manu Cossu
Executive producer: Carine Harris
Producer: Suza Horvat
Offline Editor: Dan Sherwen
Colorist: Simon Bourne / Steffan Perry
VFX Supervisor: Leo Costa
Postproduction Producer: Sian Jenkins
Sound Design: Wave Studios
Sound Engineer: Dugal Macdiarmid