Episode #004 - Princess Cruises, space tourism, Air New Zealand safety video
In our fourth episode we speak to Princess Cruises Marketing Manager Chloe Jones about an innovative recent campaign that turns cruise marketing on its head by focussing on the destination – instead of the ship.
Jones tells co-hosts Lauren Quaintance and Andrés López-Varela that the Australian cruise market is booming but, as a result, the marketing environment is extremely cluttered with many cruise brands offering a similar proposition. Whereas most cruise advertising plays up life on board, Princess took a risk and instead set their Australian television commercial in the UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Ayutthaya in Thailand with the ship itself only appearing in the last few seconds of the ad.
Jones says that the commercial seeks to capture that moment on a holiday “where you are changed for the betterment of yourself, a moment of transformation” which meant taking the focus off brand and product.
“As a marketer it’s intuitive, you want your brand in the first three seconds,” she says. “But we decided let’s hold back on it and bring people in with this amazing experience, people like me that are enjoying it, and Princess is the vessel that can provide this experience for you.”
After Andrés noted similarities between the approach and airline marketing Jones says that, as an organisation, Princess has realised it is not just competing against other cruise lines but against all holiday options.
The campaign was supported by a partnership with publisher NewsCorp that delivered to the target audience in an environment where they were already switched off and slowing down. The results? The previously untested approach delivered impressive results – delivering 22% increase in bookings year on year (versus a target of 6%).
Meanwhile in our regular segment 'Trend Monitor' we talk about a prediction from futurist and founder of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb at the recent South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas that commercial space flights are imminent. The report says that between 2019-2024 NASA’s commercial program will see six crew missions to the international space station and beyond. Andrés wonders if travellers understand that the voyages to the moon won’t be comfortable and how that will appeal to the market that can afford to pay for the trip.
And last, but not least, in 'Campaign News' we discuss a controversial new safety video from Air New Zealand starring Entourage star Adrian Grenier. Air New Zealand has attracted vehement criticism for setting the video in Antarctica – the site of the airline’s worst-ever disaster in November 1979. All 257 people on board Air New Zealand Flight 901 were killed when it flew into Mount Erebus.
A native New Zealander, Lauren says she acknowledges that the airline was keen to emphasise its partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and the Antarctic Research Institute to support environmental programs on the frozen continent, but that Air New Zealand seems to have underestimated the “huge cultural and psychological impact” of the Erebus disaster on a generation of New Zealanders.
Lesson for marketers? “You’re not marketing in a bubble,” says Lauren, “You need to consider the cultural context and the impact of your marketing of certain groups in society.”
Princess Cruises 'The Moment' TVC//YouTube
2018 Tech Trends Report//Future Today Institute (gated content)
How did Air New Zealand offend the Erebus families?//New Zealand Herald
Fantastical Journey #AirNZSafetyVideo//YouTube (that other 'naff' safety video we mentioned in this episode)