Royal Caribbean International, Changing the Conversation around Cruising
The UK and Ireland is the world’s second-largest market for cruise holidaymakers, with around 1.7million people every year opting for a getaway at sea.
However, a significant proportion of those who have never considered a holiday on the ocean waves have inaccurate preconceptions.
Specifically with this ‘new to cruise’ audience in mind, Royal Caribbean International is turning the cruise holiday on its head, introducing the most innovative and technologically-advanced ships that offer a holiday experience like no other – whether at sea or on land.
Lexis’ task in April 2015 was to work with the Royal Caribbean team to manage the UK and Ireland media launch of the newest ‘smart’ ship in their fleet, Anthem of the Seas, which is spending her inaugural season sailing out of Southampton. Our role was to spread the word among families, younger couples and youthful empty-nesters about all the firsts-at-sea she has to offer – from on-board skydiving, robot bartenders and top quality entertainment that rivals the West End, to bumper cars and circus skills, and a range of dining options to match the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Lexis worked with the internal team at Royal Caribbean to devise a multi-phased campaign to build a sense of anticipation and drive momentum through to the launch of the ship’s first commercial sailings:
We developed and released news and feature content to travel, trade and consumer lifestyle targets through the six weeks up to Anthem of the Seas’ arrival in the UK, focusing on various aspects of the ship’s completion and offer for holidaymakers – from its fit-out and conveyance, to on-board entertainment, dining and technology – including work with celebrity partners Jamie Oliver and The Gadget Show’s Jason Bradbury to bring the Anthem experience for families to life
Next, imagery of the ship’s arrival to her new home in Southampton was packaged with details of the positive impact she will make on the local economy and wider UK travel market, with stunning shots from the Solent being sold in to national picture desks
We then hosted more than 100 travel, trade, news and lifestyle media – including family, health and beauty, men’s, tech and wedding titles – on board to sample the Royal Caribbean experience over a two-night sailing, with specially-crafted itineraries bringing to life all the ship has to offer for new-to-cruise audiences and seasoned cruise holidaymakers alike.
Nearly 400 pieces of coverage have appeared to date with over 2 billion opportunities to see in the UK & Ireland
Stand-out picture-led national coverage in The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Daily Mail, with further articles in The Independent, i, The Guardian, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Sunday People and Metro
50 consumer lifestyle journalists and 50 national travel supplement and travel/cruise trade writers secured to attend pre-inaugural two-day sailing events
70% of coverage landed in all-important ‘new to cruise’ media titles, sections, and digital channels, including features in Hello!, GQ, Woman’s Own, Reveal, Tech Radar, Luxurious Magazine, Mums & Tots, First News, MSN, Yahoo, BBC News Online, MailOnline and TheSun.co.uk