Royal Caribbean Australia debuts new marketing campaign


Royal Caribbean Australia has debuted a new brand campaign that uses slogans such as, "this is not a cruise, this is a Royal Caribbean cruise" and "this is not your dream holiday, this is your next holiday."

Strategic branding and design company Hulsbosch created the campaign as a means of differentiating Royal Caribbean from its competitors.  The ads feature activities such as indoor sky diving, snorkeling, bumper cars and more.

6 interesting facts from Royal Caribbean's second quarter earnings call


Each quarter, Royal Caribbean's management gets on the phone with investors to discuss its quarterly earnings.  Much of the call is dedicated to the discussion of rather uninteresting fiscal reports, however, there are a number of tidbits that Royal Caribbean fans can glean during the discussion.

During Royal Caribbean's second quarter 2017 earnings call with investors, we picked up on five interesting points worth noting.

New trend: People are buying memories

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain started off the earnings call with an observation on the changing ways consumers are spending their money.  A strong cruise market seems to suggest to Mr. Fain that consumers have less they need to buy, and are instead investing in their memories.

"People have bought all the stuff that they need, and they're now looking towards gaining more experiences. Instead of buying TVs and cars, they seem to be buying memories as never before. Since we're in an industry that specializes in providing great memories, that trend plays to our sweet spot. Even better, the trend shows no respect for borders and seems to be occurring all around the world.  Our sailings in the U.S., Europe, Alaska, Asia, all demonstrate this fabulous phenomenon."

Smart phone app update

Royal Caribbean provided another sneak peek at what it's working on for its new smart phone app and digital strategy, dubbed internally as Project Excalibur.

While no additional information was provided in terms of what Project Excalibur will do, Richard Fain did provide an idea of how many ships will have the new feature ready for use. 

"We expect to have Excalibur functioning on 15% of our fleet within in 5 months of today, and half of our fleet by the end of next year."

Moreover, Fain elaborated on the importance of developing Project Excalibur to the long-term sustainability of the cruise line, "I've said before that our efforts in this arena are not nice to have, they are vital to keeping cruises relevant as a great vacation experience."

Price Integrity Policy rewarding those that book early

Richard Fain provided an update on its no last-minute price drop efforts, known as the Price Integrity Policy.

"As we have predicted, the early stages cost us revenue in both 2015 and 2016.  That hurt, but once we established our consistency and credibility with the travel agents, with the public, and with our own revenue managers, the benefits started flowing in.  Today, it's clearer that the program is accomplishing our goal of rewarding those who book early, while disincentivizing those who push for last minute discounts."

"The key to this consistency has been consistency. We don't do it only when it's painless or convenient. We maintain the program, even when it hurts, and sometimes, we have to let cabins sail empty. That goes against every one of our instincts. But the focus and the discipline have proven their value."

"Ironically, the program has been so successful, that we're now expecting to achieve a record load factor this year. That in turn, causes slightly higher operating costs per lower berth, but obviously, the bottom line impact is very positive."

Strategy of premium hardware in China

Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean announced the first Quantum Ultra class ship will be sailing in China, and that is in line with the cruise line's plan to bring new and impressive ships to sail from China. 

Fain explained, "With the Quantum Class of ships, we're giving the most technologically advanced hardware to a market that is very digitally focused. This move is a continuation of our strategy to have premium hardware in China.  And that strategy is what has enabled us to gain, and to hold, a leadership position in the eyes of the Chinese consumers, such that today, Quantum is essentially synonymous with cruising in China."

North American passengers are cruising more than ever

Cruisers from the United States and Canada have always been a strong source of Royal Caribbean's market, but the cruise line is seeing even higher demand for its cruise products from North American consumers.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty elaborated as to how North Americans are cruising now more than ever, "North America remains our largest sourcing market, and the strength and demand we have seen from U.S. and Canadian guests have been unwavering for both sides of the Atlantic."

"While we most itineraries have benefited from strength of the North American consumer, we have seen particularly strong trends on European sailings, both in the Mediterranean and the Baltics. Fewer geo-political events and stable air pricing have contributed to a surge in demand from our higher paying North American guests. As a result, North American guests will account for a larger percentage of Europe itinerary sourcing than in any other recent year."

"The North American consumer does not only spend more on the ticket, but they also spend quite a bit more on the ships, and the driver of that has to do with the shore excursion side, because it's more of a bucket list vacation experience for them.  So they tend to more onboard than the European guest. It's a more profitable opportunity for us if we are sourcing more North American guests versus European guests. As the North American consumer is eating up a lot of that capacity, that also puts the European consumer in a position where they have to spend more in order to get onto the ships."

Royal Caribbean's marketing strategy targets those new to cruising and Millennials (and it's working)

It is no secret that Royal Caribbean (and really the entire cruise industry) has been targeting those that have never taken a cruise before, but we got a bit of insight into Royal Caribbean's marketing strategy in today's earnings call.

Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley elaborated how the cruise line targets the American cruise market, "We have been quite focused on developing the new to cruise and the Millennial market, and we've have been making very good progress over the past couple of years.  If you look back over time, you'd see a decrease year over year in new to cruise and Millennial to Royal Caribbean International, but over the past two years, we've seen a good increase.  Part of that's related to our messaging and our marketing strategy, where we've moved from really traditional marketing to more digital, and we're seeing a good pickup from new to cruise."

Royal Caribbean to use virtual reality with new marketing campaign


Royal Caribbean Asia is looking to use virtual reality to help show potential cruisers what a cruise experience is all about.

Using Royal Caribbean's new head-mounted display (HMD) virtual reality (VR) experience, dubbed the "HoliDeck", guests can be transported onto a Royal Caribbean International ship and experience these and other Royal Caribbean’s most popular features, without going out to sea. Viewers can choose a variety of interactive games, videos and images from the ‘HoliDeck’ 360° spherical virtual space to explore in depth the entertainment, accommodation and dining options onboard such as the skydiving simulator, Two70 high-tech entertainment space and Main Dining Room, with highly realistic visual effects.

The ‘Holideck’ will soon be available at Royal Caribbean’s booth at the upcoming NATAS Travel Fair in August and other roadshows, as a demo tool for customers to get a virtual taste of the Royal Caribbean cruise experience. The company is also distributing cardboard VR headsets that play a VR video showcasing key features like the Royal Promenade, ice show, skydiving simulator, SeaPlex and Loft Suite, to its key agents in Singapore as well as its International Representatives in the region as the latest sales toolkit.

This is part of Royal Caribbean’s new marketing campaign ‘Where Everyone Gets What They Need’, launched today with a TVC as well to mark the start of its 10th anniversary celebrations in Singapore. The TVC centers on the concept that a Royal Caribbean cruise is an enjoyable and hassle free holiday that appeals to multi-generational families, couples and singles. The line “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” from the Rolling Stones classic hit is playfully quashed here by the truly ‘one size fits all’ Royal Caribbean holiday, where all guests can indeed get what they need with the wide range of activities, from the aspiring North Star elevated glass capsule to bumper cars and DreamWorks Entertainment for instance.

Royal Caribbean launches new marketing campaign in Hong Kong


Royal Caribbean launched a new marketing campaign in Hong Kong, entitled "Cruise Extraordinary."

The new campaign is designed to show the cruise line's imaginative approach to cruising in the Chinese market and will be shown in targeted television and print ads.

Royal Caribbean wants to highlight the experiences guests can enjoy onboard that give are all about enjoying oneself on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

The new TV commercial was shot onboard Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas during actual cruises.

The commercial includes a cast of 200 actors and cost tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars and is aimed at guests who are looking for a different vacation adventure.  

Balwin Yeung, director of sales and marketing of Royal Caribbean Cruises Hong Kong said, “As the market leader in Hong Kong, this year Royal Caribbean has adopted a more visible positioning on the market with aggressive advertising and sales strategies to appeal to customers looking for something truly special.”

The commercial will be aired in Hong Kong starting from today and will work hand in hand with messages in other media to create more touch points for consumers to get a taste of the cruising experience.

Royal Caribbean UK launching new marketing campaign that focuses on destinations and experiences


Royal Caribbean UK is kicking off a new multi-million pound television marketing campaign that will debut on December 26 and run until February 6 across the UK.

The campaign has the slogan of, "Where extraordinary happens" that focuses on the destinations and experiences Royal Caribbean offers more than the ship itself, similar to the United States recent "Come Seek" campaign.

The campaign will run across TV, radio, print, digital and social media. The company will also relaunch its website. 

Royal Caribbean UK director of marketing and public relations, Tamara Strauss, spoke to TTG about the decision to marketing in this way, "We did a lot of market research to road test this and look at our creative positioning. We felt it was important that we focused on the experiences and memories that we want our guests to have on our holidays. We wanted to show that these will be more than just ok – they will be something extraordinary. It’s part of our new positioning – we wanted to set a new look and feel across the product."

As part of its wave campaign, Royal Caribbean is offering a Buy One Get One Half Price promotion; the third and fourth guests in a stateroom to receive 25% per person cruise fare saving; an all-inclusive promotion for the first and second guests with a “Royal select beverage package”, which includes beer and wine by the glass or the “Royal refreshment soda package; and those who book cruises 57 days or more before a sailing to be given reduced deposits of £50 per person.

The promotion will be applicable to new bookings made before February 29 on selected six plus night worldwide sailings departing February 1 2016 and December 31 2016.

Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations


Royal Caribbean is launching a new marketing campaign entitled, "Come Seek", that aims to show a Royal Caribbean cruise is more than just a vacation on a floating hotel.

The new campaign will debut on October 19, 2015 and conveys that a Royal Caribbean vacation is not simply a cruise and those that take a cruise are not taking a conventional vacation.

Royal Caribbean's multi-million dollar campaign wants to "roll out red carpet for next generation of cruisers" that are not just new to cruising, but also tech-savvy and relish an immersive and experiential kind of vacation.

Royal Caribbean are calling these people "Seekers" because, travel is not about vacations or being a tourist: travel is a way of life.

"Come Seek" has three main messages: This is not a cruise; You are not a tourist; This is not the Caribbean.  At the end, it ends with simply, "This is the Royal Caribbean".

Through a variety of channels, Royal Caribbean aims to have "Come Seek" invoke imagery of mashing up surprising onboard experiences, such as North Star, the FlowRider and connecting on social media with Voom high speed internet.  

In addition, Royal Caribbean wants to show the depth of places to explore in the Caribbean.  All of this works towards giving guests experiences and memories that they cannot wait to show off to their friends and family.

New television ads will begin to debut on the October 19th in 15 and 30 second spots.

In addition, Royal Caribbean will be add 5 second ads in programs with heavy live viewership, such as The Voice and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with a 30 second ad later on to expand upon the 5 second teaser.  

Guests will also see 5 second ads will run across the web including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Going beyond traditional media

Perhaps one of the most innovative parts of this new campaign are the brand new "live billboards" in the New York city area that will feature live look-ins to Royal Caribbean's ships.

Two hundred and thirty geo-target units across New York City will show live broadcasts via Periscope in high traffic commuter areas, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, newsstands and subways.  Using the Voom high speed internet, these live tune-ins from the ships to show off the experience as it's happening in real time.

These live look-ins will occur throughout the month of November and be shown around peak commuting times.  Most, if not all, of the tune-ins will come from Anthem of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean will also look to guests to suggest experience that Royal Caribbean should broadcast back on Periscope.  

Going off the map

Royal Caribbean is also trying something else new to show off the kind of amazing experiences waiting in the Caribbean with a new Tumblr page called, "Uncharted".

Royal Caribbean crew members will become ambassadors and share content as they experience it on their cruises.

These Uncharted experiences will also be on the website, advertising and social media.  If it proves successful, the program could eventually extend to guests and travel agents.  

Getting noticed

The idea behind this kind of advertising is to get past the traditional produced and polished advertising people expect.

Royal Caribbean believes authentic experiences will be something guests really value and notice.

Royal Caribbean is very cognizant that consumers are used to being advertised so much that a lot of gets tuned out or fast forwarded.  With live Periscopes and crew ambassador reviews, the hope is the public will take notice because this is not a traditional kind of ad.

Royal Caribbean appoints Tamara Strauss as new Marketing Director for UK & Ireland


Royal Caribbean appointed Tamara Strauss as its new Marketing Director in the UK and Ireland.  

As part of her new role, Strauss will lead the marketing, communications and distribution teams in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the goal of bringing the Royal Caribbean International brand to a wider audience.  There will be a special emphasis on the guests new to cruising.

Strauss was previously with InterContinental Hotels Group, where she held a number of senior marketing roles and managed a multi-million pound relaunch of Holiday Inn in the UK.

Royal Caribbean UK & Ireland managing director, Stuart Leven, commented on the hiring, "It’s an exciting time to have Tamara come on board as we have high ambitions to take the cruise category and Royal Caribbean in particular to new audiences. I look forward to building on the brand’s success as we continue to target the new-to-cruise audience and launch two new game-changing ships in 2016."

Royal Caribbean selects Mullen Lowe to handle creative efforts


Royal Caribbean announced it has selected of Mullen Lowe of Boston, Massachusetts to handle the cruise line's creative marketing efforts.

Pending successful contract negotiations, Mullen Lowe will will become Royal Caribbean's creative agency, replacing J. Walter Thompson.  Mullen Lowe was selected after an extensive agency review process that began back in February 2015.

“After an extensive search we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Mullen Lowe,” said Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We are impressed by their strategic and creative thinking, which matches the energy and innovative imagination of our brand."

Mullen Lowe, an award-winning agency which was named to Ad Age’s Agency A-List in three of the past five years and also named a CreativityInnovator of the Year in 2014,  is part of the Interpublic Group of agencies.

In the first nine months of 2014, Royal Caribbean spent $58 million in measured media, according to Kantar. For all of 2013, the brand invested $81 million.

Royal Caribbean offering e-brochure for tablets


Royal Caribbean UK is now offfering a new brouchure for families that is in digital format, perfect for today's generation of iPad enthusiasts.

Travolution reports that Royal Caribbean is calling it an "industry first" by having an e-brochure that offers videos and interactive content to help showcase the family-friendly features offered by the cruise line.

With the new e-brochure, you can get access to special early booking offers and a selection of the most popular family-friendly itineraries.

Other features of the e-brocure app are planning guides for parents and a link to the Royal Caribbean's kid-friendly Penguin Ahoy! app.

Marketing and PR director Jo Briody said: “Our new tablet friendly brochure is designed to allow families to plan their holidays together, and to showcase all of our family friendly videos and onboard features in one place.

“We hope that its ease of use and inspiring content will urge more families to consider a cruise for the first time."

The new app is free and available from the iTunes app store.

Royal Caribbean selects Agency RPM for new marketing campaign in UK


Royal Caribbean has selected Agency RPM to handle its family-focused experiential activity, which launches this week in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The two-month long campaign aims to encourage new-to-cruise families to consider Royal Caribbean as their vacation option.  The heart of the effort will use an interactive experience that brings to life the family-friendly facilities and activities available through a Royal Caribbean holiday, both on-board and on-shore.

Using green screen technology, families will be able to create their ideal holiday photo album choosing from a number of activities that they would like to do together and immerse themselves directly into the action.

The new campaign will tour theme parks and shopping centres such as Bluewater in Kent, Manchester’s Arndale and Glasgow’s Silverburn.

Jo Briody, head of marketing UK & Ireland at Royal Caribbean International, said: "Cruises are often associated with an older demographic but this thinking is outdated. Our holidays are incredibly family-friendly and RPM’s idea of using green screen technology to literally ‘put people in the picture’ gives families a chance to experience how a cruise would feel, whilst additionally providing an opportunity to interact with our brand."