Carnival, the world's largest cruise line, rolled out its first multi-brand marketing initiative this week. The strategy supports all nine of its global brands through search engine marketing, a newly designed Web site, contests, social media and television spots.
The marketing program aims to educate consumers on the nine brands within the Carnival portfolio of companies and help inspire consumers to consider cruises as one of their top options when planning vacations. "We have a history of speaking about one brand at a time, when in fact we have nine distinct brands in the portfolio," said Ken Jones, vice president of corporate marketing for Carnival. "Variety is not an unmet need, but within the context of our portfolio we try to point out that there are different and unique cruise experiences within the Carnival line."
The new Web site, worldleadingcruiselines.com, is designed to educate non-cruisers on why the cruise line thinks cruising is a great vacation experience at an exceptional value. Previously it only included six North America brand cruise lines. The content on the site will also helps consumers understand how contemporary cruising has evolved with the Carnival's nine brands, each offering a unique experience.
The campaign supports a marketing challenge -- an interactive crowdsourcing program -- where Cedric the Entertainer asks consumers to "join the company's marketing team" and help pick a favorite campaign from six creative concepts. The input will help determine the concept used to market the brand. To thank people for their input, one lucky participant will win a yearly cruise for life.
Technical details like Web site load times were not forgotten. Jones said it's a bit tricky when building a site with lots of entertaining features and heavy content. The company's IT team worked hard to manage the load time and make sure the content stays "crisp."
Carnival hosts about 10.5 million guests annually, but the campaign targets consumers who are new to cruising with insight on why "cruising is an extraordinary experience for an exceptional value" with a goal to drive increased awareness and demand for cruising.
The second contest pulls in Twitter. Carnival launched the Twitter handle, @CarnivalPLC, with a contest encouraging consumers to share what they love about cruising. Users tweeting @CarnivalPLC with the hashtag #LoveCruising become eligible for a series of free cruises as prizes, with one individual selected at random to receive 100 days of cruising on a choice of Carnival Corporation’s U.S.-based brands to be used at their discretion.