Tom Stieghorst
Tom Stieghorst

Two new ad campaigns, timed to Wave season, show the psychographics of different cruise lines under the Carnival Corp. umbrella, something that Carnival CEO Arnold Donald says is the key to sorting out which customers belong where.

Holland America Line has built ads around the majesty of its heritage and its keen appetite for exploration. Carnival Cruise Line ads suggest: "The heck with all that, guys, let's just have a big bucket of fun."

HAL's ads will appear on more than a dozen cable TV channels, and Carnival has opted to place its ads on digital channels such as Hulu, Vevo, as well as on various digital channels run by Ellen DeGeneres. 

The most distinctive of the ads is HAL's 60-second spot entitled "This Is Why We Sail." It starts with vintage footage of old Netherlands-America Steamship Co. liners making the transatlantic trip to New York.

"These voyages changed the world," says the narrator. The scene quickly shifts to a modern HAL ship and a voice-over says, "We're still changing the world." The ad goes on to show a montage of people, destinations and onboard activities, some presented in half-screens where one image moves and the other stays still.

"Travel is more than an itinerary. It has the power to transform us," the narrator says. "This is why we sail."

Two other 30-second spots, one highlighting destinations and the other on the Music Walk feature on HAL's newest ship, the Koningsdam, are linked to HAL's Savor the Journey tagline introduced last year.

The ads will run on cable channels through April including Food Network, Golf Channel, National Geographic, Smithsonian and NBC Sports.  

Meanwhile, Carnival's in-house marketers and its outside ad agency, Arnold Worldwide, have created ads that feature talking objects, such as a coconut, a beach towel and a pair of cutoff shorts, that highlight the fun side of cruising.

The tone is whimsical and enthusiastic. In the 15-second "Not Going Back," the viewer sees fast-moving shots of waterslides, recumbent SkyRide bicycles and a ropes course while a narrator describes a place where playgrounds are huge and bicycles fly.

The end of the ad reveals the talking shorts lying on a stateroom bed.

"I'm jorts, man," declares the narrator (jorts is a contraction of jeans and shorts), "and there's no going back to the pants I used to be!"

Adrienne Salzberg, Carnival's director of advertising communications, said the ads "build on our brand DNA of offering fun for all by tapping into that innermost feeling that guests get when they step onboard a Carnival cruise: the possibility for completely uninhibited fun, and the sense of childlike wonderment that comes with it."

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