Thursday, 13 October 2011

New campaign invites travelers to ‘Cruise Like a Norwegian’


New campaign invites travelers to ‘Cruise Like a Norwegian’

By Donna Tunney
NCL-newadNorwegian Cruise Line is attempting to reposition itself with a consumer-facing branding platform centered on the theme “Cruise Like a Norwegian.”

It’s a multifaceted campaign that rolls out Oct. 10 with network and cable TV commercials, digital advertising, new logos and social media components on Facebook.

The high-energy, some might say sexy, TV commercials aim to help coin the phrase used in the branding theme.

“Dine like a Parisian. Surf like a Hawaiian. Love like a Venetian. Party like a Brazilian. Cruise like a Norwegian,” the commercials declare.

Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan said the cruise line has spent the past four years on “a variety of initiatives” to improve and enhance the company and brand. “We felt this is the right time to issue this bold invitation to cruise with us by piquing interest and creating excitement around our brand,” he said.

“We believe this new brand platform will differentiate us and help clearly define a Norwegian cruise as one of the best vacations.”

Maria Miller, the line’s senior vice president of marketing, said the campaign’s slogan “is an invitation to those wanting to experience life in dynamic ways to come in and experience the brand.”

She added: “We are trying to broaden our demographic. ... It’s a bold, confident statement that presents the brand in a new way yet builds on our heritage.”

Miller noted that the launch of the Norwegian Epic, along with entertainment upgrades, helped open the line to more families and younger people in recent years. The new branding platform, she said, will put Norwegian “front and center” among consumers who have never cruised.

“This feels different than other cruise line advertising that’s out there. The core of what we’re trying to communicate is the breadth of experience we offer, the freedom and flexibility. Freestyle Cruising allows people to experience that,” Miller said.

The Facebook components of the rebranding launch include “Mix It Up,” an application that enables users to pair their own photos with the music featured in the “Cruise Like a Norwegian” ads, and an interactive quiz called “How Norwegian Are You?” The results will show how closely the user aligns with a Norwegian Cruise Line lifestyle.

The line also will reach out to agents in an effort to communicate what the new brand means to the frontline sale process.

Agent webinars will be offered, Miller said, and the line’s sales organization has materials they will distribute to retailers. Courses in NCL University will reflect the new brand philosophy.

She added that onboard elements include some changes to the line’s signature “White Hot Party” featured on every cruise.

“Some ‘Norwegian elements’ will be added to that,” said Miller, and the line’s crew members are being trained to “support and deliver the experiences we want our customers to have.”

The line for several months has been trying to move quietly away from “NCL” as an often-used abbreviation and toward “Norwegian” instead.

A spokeswoman for the line recently explained that the company wanted to focus on its “Norwegian roots” and no longer wished to be known by an abbreviation.

In the TV commercials, “NCL” appears once, and for just a split second, at the tail end of the ads.