How to Sell Millennials on a Cruise Vacation

Royal Caribbean’s branding campaign, “Come Seek,” focuses on attracting adventure seekers.
Royal Caribbean’s branding campaign, “Come Seek,” focuses on attracting adventure seekers.

Looking to grow your cruise business by booking Millennial clients? Many cruise lines are reaching out to first-time cruisers, Millennials among them. 

Agents might hop onboard the promotional bandwagon Royal Caribbean International has just launched and which will continue into Wave Season and throughout the new year. The new multimillion-dollar branding campaign, “Come Seek,” is designed to do what “Get Out There” did for agents in corralling consumers.

The new campaign focuses on attracting adventure seekers, particularly Millennials, who typically don’t want neither a standard cruise nor a traditional vacation, but seek culturally rich, authentic experiences. “Seekers” are introduced to destinations via experiential excursions, such as an Ocean Racing Experience in Antigua, which matches two guest teams of six each with professional yachters in head-to-head competition, and a Mountain Top Downhill Trek through historic plantation ruins in St. Maarten.

Jim Berra, the line’s chief marketing officer, says the spots are designed “to create some noise — to disrupt the marketplace” and to help the line [and thus agents who sell the product] stand out in a marketplace of information overload. “Come Seek” encompasses online, outdoor and broadcast advertising integrated with public relations, social media and direct marketing.

For example, consumers will see streaming video on the Periscope social channel and unusual five-second and 30-second commercials on late-night TV shows and news programs as well as NBC’s “The Voice.” Royal Caribbean International is also turning to its crew members to help leverage “authentic” visual impact. Using Tumblr, crew will broadcast first-person videos and visuals they create onboard or ashore. The line said this might expand to agents and cruisers, who would also post content to share with the public.

“Since they are trying to reach a younger segment of the market, they are doing a combination of traditional media such as TV, radio and online, while testing out other forms of media distribution in select markets such as Go-Pro live streaming from the Caribbean,” says Michelle Fee, co-founder and CEO, Cruise Planners.

“The live streaming videos are an industry first and will air real people who are experiencing different Caribbean adventures in the islands such as zip lining, kayaking and more to attract the experiential consumer to cruising on Royal,” Fee notes. (For a look at the campaign spots, click here.)

Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean’s senior VP of sales, trade support and service, has briefed trade partners, renamed the line’s sales calls “seeker sessions,” and pledged tools and resources for agents at “Any campaign cannot be a success without our travel partners.”

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