Carnival Cruise Line has appointed SapientNitro, part of Publicis.Sapient, as its lead digital experience agency.
The agency will be responsible for creating a "cohesive digital experience," including digital creative, content, analytics, search engine optimization and e-mail marketing. The SapientNitro Miami office will manage with support from its Atlanta location.
Digital has become a key focus for the cruise line as younger guests are more likely to research and book travel. To that end, one of SapientNitro's first projects will be to refine Carnival’s e-commerce efforts, particularly as it relates to search and booking tools.
There was no formal review; SapientNitro expanded its role to include activity that was traditionally managed by several agencies. Carnival spends more than $600 million a year on advertising, according to company executives.
Earlier this year, Carnival and its agency BBDO-Atlanta debuted the brand's first Super Bowl TV spot titled "Come Back to the Sea" that was part of an interactive crowdsourcing contest to let fans "join the company's marketing team" by voting for their favorite creative concept.
More than 100,000 consumers participated in the contest. It was also the first time Carnival incorporated all nine of its global brands.
“In today’s digital age, the vacation experience often begins online,” said Christine Esteve, vice president of e-commerce at Carnival Cruise Line. “We selected SapientNitro because of their extensive expertise helping companies in the travel and hospitality sector create strong digital experiences for their businesses. We look forward to working with SapientNitro to create a fun and engaging experience that begins before our guests even set sail.”