Posted by Charles Lloyd on January 4, 2017
We all know the archetypal cruisegoer. It’s your relatively affluent Aunty Margaret and Uncle Fred, who’ve paid off their mortgage and are letting their silver hair down. It’s a luxurious way of seeing the world without asking too much of your replacement hip. Rightly or wrongly, cruises have long been regarded as a pursuit of the middle and old aged. But according to Royal Caribbean, cruises are undergoing a ‘revolution’ which has seen the average age of their customers fall from 50+ to 40+. This sea change in cruises’ appeal to younger consumers is the inspiration for Royal Caribbean’s latest campaign, which aims to persuade an even younger audience of millennials to put their Airbnbs and Wowcher deals on hold and give a cruise a go.
The 40-second spot from Hometown London opens to waves crashing on a beach while a young woman sunbathes in the sand. The ad then cuts to various other snippets of the holiday, from taking a photo of a domed stained-glass ceiling in a church to paragliding and swimming by a waterfall. There is no dialogue in any of the fleeting glimpses of the holiday we see, just the tranquil sounds of the surroundings; an accordion being played in the distance or waves falling onto the shore, luring us into the relaxation of the holiday and making the advert feel like memories from the best holiday ever. And each segment is overlaid with its location’s coordinates, reminding us that a cruise is a moving holiday.
The appeal to a younger audience is subtle; done in a way to spark imagination rather than render the campaign irrelevant or unappealing to the cruise’s core market. The small child running through bubbles is a subliminal note that families are welcome, while the ad’s imagery steals the show in a way that means you may miss that no one over 40 seems to feature. The aesthetic of the map coordinates overlayed on the ad’s stylised footage is of the same ilk as that found on the pages of aspirational, boutique magazines adorning the tables of Shoredith cafes, so while the ad doesn't ram it down your throat, it sends a thoughtful and well-crafted message to affluent millennials that they might want to try this.
Mario Bounas, Director of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International said of the new campaign: ‘We continue to break Royal Caribbean from the mould of stereotyped cruise holidays, just like our incredible ships and extraordinary destinations do every day. The realism and tranquillity of our advert should give viewers a different perspective of a cruise holiday and time to reflect on their own holiday moments’.
The TV ad launched in the UK on 26 December is bolstered by VOD, radio, digital and social activity.
By Charlie Lloyd, Senior Content Researcher