Carnival Corp. is going to advertise during Super Bowl XLIX for the first time as part of its recently launched marketing initiative, which promotes all nine of its cruise brands across TV, social and digital platforms.
Rather than just create an ad and air it, Carnival is turning the big buy into an opportunity to engage customers across its digital platforms. This builds on Carnival’s entry in user-generated content, starting in September 2013, when it launched a new campaign calling for photos of cruisers’ special moments onboard.
Carnival is posting four options of the Super Bowl commercial, created by ad agency BBDO, and giving customers the chance to vote for the winning ad and a lifetime of annual cruises.
The four spots target different kinds of cruisers. One talks about cruising as a way to escape daily stress, another about a cruiser’s first time experience, and one about special moments onboard.
“Our goal is to convince those who have never cruised to give us a chance to show them why over 10 million people a year sail on one of our nine brands and why so many of our guests cannot wait to sail with us again,” Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement.
Carnival Corporation is still working its way back from two reputation ruiners: the “poop cruise” onboard the Carnival Triumph and the crash of Costa Concordia.
Although Carnival raised its full-year earnings forecast in September, the world’s largest cruise company is still working hard to attract new customers and overcome negative perceptions.
Travel Brands in Super Bowl
Travel brands are usually absent from Super Bowl commercials. Jeep Cherokee’s “Restless” commercial was the closet thing to a travel-themed ad in 2014.
Priceline sidestepped the hefty price tag by creating six-second Vines, “express” versions of Super Bowl commercials created in an effort to promote Express Deals and running them via its social media channels.
Walt Disney World Resorts actually gets the largest shout-out during the big game but not with a traditional commercial.
For 25 of the past 26 years, Walt Disney World Resorts has filmed advertisements during the on-field victory celebrations of the National Football League championship game that feature a player from the winning team stating his intention to go to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The clips are quickly edited and turned into two different ads that then run in different media markets in the United States.