Building on its successful brand identity campaign introduced in late 2006, NCL is introducing a series of new television commercials highlighting the facets of the company’s signature Freestyle Cruising, an approach to cruising unlike any other offered in the industry. Freestyle Cruising leaves regimented schedules behind, and is characterized by having no fixed dining times, resort casual attire, relaxed disembarkation and dozens of on-board entertainment and activity options.
Each commercial, developed by NCL’s advertising agency, Austin-based GSD&M’s Idea City, provides a humorous look at guests who are on a traditional, regimented cruise in a typical situation, whether it is being forced to dine with people they don’t know, or to dress in formal attire for dinner. The commercials, with titles such as “Salesman,” “Starer,” “Gallstones,” and “Clothing,” conclude by showing the benefits of NCL’s Freestyle Cruising where guests are “free to whatever” and can dine on their own schedule in resort casual attire at a multitude of on-board restaurants.
“Our first round of television commercials featuring the new brand identity was extremely successful in communicating the overall advantages of NCL’s Freestyle Cruising,” said NCL’s Andy Stuart, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “With this next series, we sought to show the benefits of Freestyle Cruising in more detail -- including choice of restaurants, no set dining times and relaxed attire – to overcome the top barriers to cruising as identified by consumers themselves.”
The new television ads embody NCL’s brand identity that breaks the mold of traditional cruise industry marketing with its light-hearted tone. One way the brand is characterized is with a graphic treatment shown at the end of each commercial that features a white fish swimming against the direction of a school of blue fish, depicting NCL’s innovative spirit in the cruise industry, as well as the type of guest that NCL is looking to attract, one who is a “non-conformist”. NCL’s research shows that the types of people who are attracted to Freestyle Cruising see themselves as individualists in a world in which increasingly everyone else is doing what they are told and accepting what is offered. With these commercials, NCL is communicating with vacationers who want to enjoy their cruise on their terms without the structure and regimentation that is still the central feature of traditional cruises.
Five of the eight new commercials are currently airing on network and cable television nationwide including the Travel Channel on January 25 between 8 and 9 p.m. ET and during 60 Minutes on February 10 between 7 and 8 p.m. ET.