Cruise lines haven't been effective in selling millennials on cruising. A direct appeal to the Selfie generation from social media influencers makes sense.
Royal Caribbean International’s latest brand campaign is aimed at urging millennials to consider cruising.
The company’s new “Come Seek” campaign focuses on the experiential aspects of cruising: what cruisers can do besides the traditional shipboard experience and how they can show off on social media afterwards.
The campaign is a bid to attract the elusive millennial to cruising. New commercials will air nationally during primetime through the second quarter of 2016, coinciding with the end of Wave Season.
A campaign on Periscope, a first for the cruise industry, will also launch in November and be broadcast on billboards around New York City.
“The campaign really stems from thinking about the new-to-cruise audience target we want to attract,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises. “If you look at how they make vacation decisions, destination is king.”
The company’s last major TV ad campaign also featured the tagline “Destination Wow.”
The continued destination focus is a somewhat surprising move for the cruise line, which is upgrading its fleet to become one of the most technologically advanced in the industry.
“Maturing millennials in their late 20s and early 30s are looking for great experiences they can brag about on social media,” said Berra. “We want to give a preview of what you can look forward to posting on Facebook or Instagram.”
The cruise line will also experiment with live streaming video by broadcasting Periscope video from its ships to more than 200 digital billboards around New York City. It will bring social media influencers from Instagram and Periscope onboard its new Anthem of the Seas vessel and have them create content on itineraries sailing to Martinique, San Juan and Barbados.
“The most authentic thing we can do is to show live, and in real-time, what people are able to do on vacation,” said Berra. Royal Caribbean expects to reach five million commuters each day with the digital billboards, which will showcase 20 to 25 minutes of video from sailings each day.
If the campaign is successful, Berra expects Royal Caribbean to hold another campaign simultaneously in several markets. He mentioned Chicago and San Francisco as options in addition to New York, because of their density.
“We also need to do our due diligence on how Wi-Fi connected the boards are in other cities,” said Berra. “The MTA in New York has been pretty responsive to work with.”
Photo credit: A still from Royal Caribbean International's new Come Seek campaign. Royal Caribbean International