The world’s largest cruise ship company announced Monday it is launching a marketing effort to bring more newcomers on board.
As part of the campaign, Doral-based Carnival Corp. will work to dispel common misconceptions about cruising in general and help potential passengers figure out which line is best for them. For the first time, the company is highlighting all nine of its global brands in the push.
The multimillion dollar initiative will start online with a digital and social push Nov. 24 and continue with television advertising in early 2015. Elements include:
▪ Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald and comedian Cedric the Entertainer will host a marketing challenge asking the public to help choose from six different advertising concepts, mold the ads and vote for the option that best addresses concerns about cruising and shows what a cruise is like. One person who participates will win a cruise every year for life.
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▪ A revamped website, WorldsLeadingCruiseLines.com, will be the hub for the initiative and will promote Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (United Kingdom).
▪ A Twitter contest will mark the launch of a new handle, @CarnivalPLC.
▪ An interactive quiz will tell travelers what their “cruise-a-nality” is to help them figure out which cruise brand would be the best fit.
Donald announced the plan Monday as part of a conference call with reporters.
“The reason for doing this is partly to show people that cruising is not what they think it is,” he said.
Donald said part of the campaign will take on concerns including: “I don’t want to be in a buffet line with 3,000 people. I don’t want to be seasick. I don’t want to be confined. It’s only for old people. It’s only for young people.”
The goal, he said, is to bring cruising — especially on the company’s brands — to the top of travelers’ minds when they consider vacation options.
While the call was announced last week, Monday’s announcement followed news over the weekend that about 170 people had fallen ill because of norovirus aboard the Crown Princess, part of Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises line. After a thorough cleaning, the ship left Los Angeles Sunday night for a weeklong Mexican Riviera cruise.
Donald said that even though far more people catch norovirus on land, the cruise industry gets outsized attention because it is required to report cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If you don’t want norovirus, you really should go on a cruise ship,” he said.