Carnival Promo, Case study ALL FOR FUN, FUN FOR ALL by Media Contacts

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Industry Culture, Leisure & Sport, Ferries & Cruises
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Media Contacts
Released February 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale
Product/Service: CRUISE LINER
Date of First Appearance: Mar 1 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: MPG, Boston, USA
Senior Vice President/Group Account Director: Steve Dow (MPG)
Account Director: Drew Watson (MPG)
Media Supervisor: Irina Muradian (MPG)
Media Planner: Femaris Pena (MPG)
Media Planner: Michael Fischer (MPG)
Senior Vice President/Director of National Broadcast: Carrie Drinkwater (MPG)
Account Director National Broadcast: Megan Johnson (MPG)
National Broadcast Supervisor: Tracy Nesbit (MPG)
Senior Vice President/Local Broadcast: Linda Blandino (MPG)
Digital Media Planner: Dan Davies (Media Contacts)
Vice President/Group Account Director: Tom Penque (Media Contacts)
Media placement: National TV - ABC, NBC, CBS - 1 March 2009
Media placement: Local TV - WABC (NY) KTLA (LA) - 1 March 2009
Media placement: Local Radio - WBGG (Miami) KBZT (SD) - 16 March 2009
Media placement: Digital - Yahoo! AOL MSN - 1 March 2009
Media placement: Outdoor - Billboards (Hou, Phil, NY), Interactive Aquarium (LA, NY, Dallas) - March 2009
Media placement: Cinema - AMC, Regal Cinemas - March 2009
Media placement: Print - Travel Weekly - March - December 2009

Results and Effectiveness
The spontaneous outdoor fun resulted in Carnival sailing away with the highest number of weekly bookings in company history during March – the height of the 2009 recession! Sales are confidential, but we did close the consideration gap with RCI significantly. Branded search volume was up year-on-year and grew faster than RCI. visits increased 15% versus 2008, with Web leads and online bookings up 95%. Call volume rose 25% and total gross bookings grew year-over-year – way above our goal, translating into significant incremental ticket and onboard revenue. Even the “Towel” sensation got some action, delivering +3MM hits on YouTube alone.

Creative Execution
We brought the feeling of spontaneous group fun – the same kind of fun that Carnival passengers experience – that “Fun for All” kind of fun, to everyday life. For the first time, we reached consumers on a local level, introducing unique sampling opportunities to build loyalty with spontaneous interactive events. “Fun Crowd” events let people play with the world’s largest beach ball and piñata (I’m talking GUINNESS WORLD RECORD big). We dominated local train stations with giant Twister mats and custom-made spinner. Thousands of consumers enjoyed food, refreshments, karaoke and Carnival ship entertainment. Interactive Aquariums in vacant store fronts combined visual technology, flash animation, voice recognition and gaming, allowing pedestrians to “interact” with the cartoon sea life via their cellphones (also providing data for follow-up marketing). Traditionally, towel animals are created by cabin stewards, so we introduced a wildly popular “Towel Animal Theatre” series through online video and online/digital OOH.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
When envisioning a Carnival Cruise, most people imagine D-list celebrities, cheesey sing-alongs, elderly people or intoxicated 22-year-olds. Such perceptions affect Carnival’s brand consideration, their single largest bottleneck in the purchase funnel. In 2008, Carnival Cruise Lines was experiencing the perfect storm. Only 18% of Americans had ever cruised and with the market tanking, people were spending even less on vacations. Those willing to spend money on a cruise had appealing options from competitors, leaving Carnival without comparable product innovations. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian also offered rock-bottom prices threatening Carnival’s long-standing reputation as the best value cruise vacation. Clearly we had to elevate the brand to let people know what our experience was REALLY about: FUN! Our objective was to ramp-up sales by focusing communication efforts within drive-to-port markets including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, and Los Angeles, thereby eliminating extra spending (airfare) that would prohibit Carnival consideration.