Celebrity Cruises: ‘Cruising Jim, but not as we know it’

celebrity cruisesWith travel restrictions set to be relaxed next week, leaving only Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the UK’s red list, overseas jaunts are now firmly back on the agenda for those with pockets deep enough to cope.

And, what better way to see the world than from a luxury ship? Jane McDonald has been extolling the virtues of cruising for years and, as if by magic, here comes a new TV campaign for Celebrity Cruises, which ceased to operate in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and has returned to UK and Ireland shores after 16 months.

Produced by VCCP New York, Good Relations and Girl & Bear, the spot aims to “tear up every cliché and stereotype that exists about cruising” and opens by posing the question, “How many precious moments have we missed?”

It then takes the viewer on a journey filled with “experiences and wonders” one might not immediately associate with a cruise – well, that’s what it says here – all set to a remix of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

These “wonders” focus on activities like motorbiking through a forest, kayaking between ice caps and swimming in deep blue waters, rather than the more standard fare of X-Factor failures bashing out cover versions during the evening entertainment.

It is all smiles and laughter from the decidedly young passengers and the remarkably friendly crew, too, with plenty of BAME and LGBTQ representation and even a wheelchair user thrown in for good measure.

Ending with the tagline, “Journey Safe, Journey WonderFULL,” the creative is apparently designed to tap into the “transformative wonders of experiencing the world from the perspective of a Celebrity Cruises’ cruise ship”.

The campaign is also running across digital out-of-home sites, including London Westfield, Bluewater, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Arndale, supported by digital and video executions running on YouTube, Teads, Unruly and Facebook.

Even so, anyone who has not been “double jabbed” need not bother to apply as all passengers – and crew – must be fully vaccinated before they can set foot anywhere near any of the ships.

Celebrity Cruises vice-president and managing director Jo Rzymowska said: “This is another huge moment for our brand, and our market, as we build back stronger following a successful season of luxury staycations this summer.

“Our passion for unique experiences that feed our love of travel, perfectly brought to life by the campaign, echoes what our guests and partners have been telling us: how ‘WonderFULL’ it is to be meeting again on the ocean; visiting the world once more, reconnecting with friends and family, and meeting new people and communities, knowing that every little detail is taken care of – from seamless service to personal safety – so they can focus on making the very most of their luxury holiday at sea.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, first up, sorry to disappoint, but Celebrity Cruises is somewhat of a misnomer. There are no celebrities onboard at all; they claim to treat you like a celebrity, that’s all, although quite what is luxurious about being stuck on a ship with thousands of others is anyone’s guess.

Still, the ad is nicely shot, and they’re right, it’s cruising Jim, but not as we know it.

Whether it is enough to get us to sign up is another matter; after all, with most ships having a capacity of nearly 3,000, surely it will only take one person to catch Covid on a day trip and your holiday could sink without trace. Just saying.

Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘don’t mention the Titanic’ 6 out of 10

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