Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean has launched a new marketing campaign entitled, “Come Seek”, that aims to show a Royal Caribbean cruise is more than just a vacation on a floating hotel.

The new campaign which made its début on October 19, 2015 conveys that a Royal Caribbean vacation is not simply a cruise and those that take a cruise are not taking a conventional vacation.

Royal Caribbean’s multi-million dollar campaign wants to “roll out red carpet for next generation of cruisers” that are not just new to cruising, but also tech-savvy and relish an immersive and experiential kind of vacation.

Royal Caribbean are calling these people “Seekers” because, travel is not about vacations or being a tourist: travel is a way of life.  “Come Seek” has three main messages: This is not a cruise; You are not a tourist; This is not the Caribbean.  At the end, it ends with simply, “This is the Royal Caribbean”.

Through a variety of channels, Royal Caribbean aims to have “Come Seek” invoke imagery of mashing up surprising on-board experiences, such as North Star, the FlowRider and connecting on social media with Voom high speed internet.  In addition, Royal Caribbean wants to show the depth of places to explore in the Caribbean.  All of this works towards giving guests experiences and memories that they cannot wait to show off to their friends and family.

New television ads made their début on the October 19th in 15 and 30 second spots.  In addition, Royal Caribbean added 5 second ads in programs with heavy live viewership on US TV networks, such as The Voice and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with a 30 second ad later on to expand upon the 5 second teaser.  People may also have seen 5 second ads will run across the web including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Going beyond traditional media:

Perhaps one of the most innovative parts of this new campaign are the brand new “live billboards” in the New York city area that will feature live look-ins to Royal Caribbean’s ships.  Two hundred and thirty geo-target units across New York City will show live broadcasts via Periscope in high traffic commuter areas, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, news stands and subways.

Using the Voom high speed internet, these live tune-ins from the ships to show off the experience as it’s happening in real time.  These live look-ins will occur throughout the month of November and be shown around peak commuting times.  Most, if not all, of the tune-ins will come from Anthem of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean will also look to guests to suggest experience that Royal Caribbean should broadcast back on Periscope.  Going off the map Royal Caribbean is also trying something else new to show off the kind of amazing experiences waiting in the Caribbean with a new Tumblr page called, “Uncharted”.

Royal Caribbean crew members will become ambassadors and share content as they experience it on their cruises.These Uncharted experiences will also be on the website, advertising and social media.  If it proves successful, the program could eventually extend to guests and travel agents.

Getting noticed:  

The idea behind this kind of advertising is to get past the traditional produced and polished advertising people expect.

Royal Caribbean believes authentic experiences will be something guests really value and notice.Royal Caribbean is very cognizant that consumers are used to being advertised so much that a lot of gets tuned out or fast forwarded.  With live Periscopes and crew ambassador reviews, the hope is the public will take notice because this is not a traditional kind of ad.

Source: Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations | Royal Caribbean Blog

How Omni-Channel Marketing Can Help Travel Brands Fly Farther, Faster: Marketing Land, Josh Manion

Omni-Channel Opportunities And Challenges

omni-channel marketingThe travel industry offers a particularly clear lens through which to see both the challenges and opportunities of omni-channel marketing. First, there’s scale and complexity.

TripAdvisor (Disclosure: client), for example, is the world’s largest travel site, with 375 million unique monthly visitors checking out more than 5.2 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. Many customers routinely use multiple channels to do research and make travel choices.

A Facebook and Deloitte survey of more than 10,000 leisure travellers, for example, shows it’s an industry in which consumers are particularly attuned to social media. This study found that social media is second only to friends and family as a source of travel ideas. Sixty-eight percent said travel reviews give them the confidence to book. Given that profile, how does a global company touch customers at the right time with the right offers across the best platforms, given the tendency for data to be fragmented and siloed across online and offline sources, and from one digital platform to the next?

Leisure and tourism company TUI Group (Disclosure: client) offers some insight. TUI Group’s travel services span tour operator brands, travel agencies, hotels and resorts, with six TUI-owned airlines and a fleet of cruise ships for seaborne holidays under the company’s core UK brands, Thomson and First Choice. Customers interact with travel products over multiple visits and sessions. Purchase cycles may involve many months or even multiple years. And when the traveller books, he or she may have looked at dozens of packages, destinations, hotels and resorts, in varying combinations. A single customer may have millions of unique combinations to consider when choosing a holiday. How does the marketing team keep track of customers as they browse travel products and packages across platforms and brand portfolios in a long sales cycle?

How can you ensure that marketing advertising and offers are contextually relevant, given that a single traveller may purchase in different circumstances, for a family holiday, business travel or a couples getaway? Capturing and integrating the data is crucial, as is the ability to remember a unique individual across time and through every interaction so that the brand can respond in context. Brand “memory” is embedded in data. For any brand, and certainly for a company like TUI Group, it’s the critical resource in customer acquisition, retention and loyalty. Let’s take a closer look. How To Implement Effective Omni-Channel Marketing • Go Beyond Data Silos. This is the way a brand can avoid “short-term memory loss” when it engages a consumer over a lengthy sales cycle.

In the case of TUI Group, for example, the company has built a sophisticated data collection system based on advanced tag management with a persistent data layer that ensures data quality and consistency, regardless of the varied ways it is collected over the company’s many brands and platforms.

The omni-channel customer profiles in the data layer arm TUI with a more complete picture of travelers to better deliver the right experience and best offers for each customer.

• Leverage First-Party Data. The ad exchanges, ad networks and data management platforms evolving to support programmatic media buying offer a powerful way to market cross-platform. But first-party data generated on a brand’s owned platforms are key, because they reveal consumer intent and preferences.

For example, TUI Group reports using first-party data generated by visits and other customer interactions to support programmatic ad buying with “dynamic retargeting” serving product advertising relevant to the consumer.

Programmatic media buying makes it possible to leverage the strength of internet advertising, the ability to target buyers on the channels they frequent and prefer. The end game is advertising that is contextual.

After all, you don’t want to market a family vacation with the kids to an engaged couple deciding where to go on their honeymoon.

• Market Across The Brand Portfolio. Many global companies manage multiple brands, and that makes the practice of uniting data at the level of the unique individual more challenging.

Continuing with the TUI Group example, the company unifies first-party data to consolidate that information anonymously against a unique ID. The process enables the TUI Group to see how brands interact with each other and the role they play in the customer journey.

Data fragmentation has been a huge and persistent obstacle to effective omni-channel marketing. Martech innovation has been enabling marketers to unify all of this cross-channel, cross-platform data, and in the process, gain a single view of the customer as he or she moves about in daily life.

While not always simple, this is the first step to meaningful engagement with consumers. It will not only deliver short-term ROI but also engender long-term trust and brand loyalty.

Source: How Omni-Channel Marketing Can Help Travel Brands Fly Farther, Faster

Marketing Land, Josh Manion

Contextual Marketing – How it works in the Travel Industry – Big Data for Travel – Boxever

Everybody is talking about contextual marketing, but really, what is it and how will it benefit our travel customers’ experience?

In the madmen days of advertising, you would reach a customer through billboards or television ads placed at very strategic locations or times. Outdoor billboards near snow-laden airports featuring warm, sunny climate destinations. Television ads for airlines running on the evening news, touting easy flights for business executives. When was the last time you saw one of those?

The marketing industry has come a long way and digital marketing has completely changed how we reach our target audience. Contextual Marketing means discovering the context in which specific audiences were to be found. It is about the digital fingerprint, looking at what a customer has done, what they are currently doing, and predicting what they may do in the future based on their habits and trends. In the past that meant taking advantage of situations like freezing cold northerners who drive by boards near airports as they head to and from work or business executives who travel that watch the stock market reports during the evening news.

The fundamental concept of contextual marketing reaching audiences when they are in a specific time and place or frame of mind for considering your product or service — is still very valid. The difference is that the information we now have to support contextual marketing is more personalized and enriched with more details.

Equally important, the channels for reaching travellers are now highly individualized and personalized thanks to the ubiquitous tiny screens that are ever present in our lives. Instead of reaching that winter sun-seeker on his or her way to the airport, you can beam them an email directly to their laptop or tablet. The timing has become fine-tuned as well. For example, you know they’re in a look-to-book frame of mind if you send a remarketing email within six hours of a fare or destination search on your website.

There are many data drivers for today’s successful contextual marketing.

When blended, these drivers create hyper-personalized offers and content timed to reach highly receptive audiences at exactly the right moment. These drivers can include:



Historic behaviour

Real-time information

For example, let’s take Margie Foley. An online travel agency has her in its database as a female, aged 36, who lives outside of Hartford, Connecticut. In the past she has travelled to Fort Lauderdale in early March, midweek, leaving at 7am, returning the following Monday at 4pm. Now add her device information – her email and cell phone number. Then, (here’s where it gets really fun) pull in some third party weather data.

The OTA uses a sophisticated travel marketing platform that includes a recommendation engine that creates contextual marketing offers on the fly. So, on a snowy morning in January, Margie is headed out the door on her way to work. The recommendation engine pulls together an offer for a great deal to Fort Lauderdale, including a discount for an extra night’s stay at her favourite hotel. Timed to reach her during her lunch hour – while the morning’s nightmare commute is still on her mind and the snow continues to pile up outside her office window — the offer entices her into a temporary reverie with a picture of a Fort Lauderdale beach at sunset. The discount encourages her to book now so she’ll have two months of looking forward to her vacation – surely a powerful tactic to get her through the New England winter.

Now, multiply Margie’s offer by the 2,000 other New Englanders in the OTA’s database that share a similar travel history and who are also staring at the falling snow. Divide by the fractional cost of beaming them an email and the efficiency of contextual marketing (cost divided by booking rate equals ROI) becomes very clear indeed.

But perhaps the most compelling thought is that contextual marketing is in its infancy.

As travel marketers become more sophisticated and begin applying what I call personal interest data, the recommendation engines will be able to layer in additional personalization that will really drive contextual marketing to a whole new level and really make it so that every connection is 1:1.

Margie, it turns out, is a rabid Red Sox fan and her name is in the team’s ticketing database. Imagine the team clinches the American League pennant. The next day, while visions of victory dance in her head, she receives a contextual marketing offer that includes a World Series package pulled together on the fly. Go Sox. Go Margie.

This 1:1 marketing is what our customers are coming to expect. There is a move away from generic advertising, which can be seen in the latest iOS release that has the ability to block ads. We now need to start looking at ways to interact and provide extremely relevant information and offers to our customers.

Source: Contextual Marketing – How it works in the Travel Industry – Big Data for Travel – Boxever

The Next Big Thing In Visual Storytelling? Destination Selfies.

Source: The Next Big Thing In Visual Storytelling? Destination Selfies. – Monday, 14th September 2015 at 4Hoteliers

By Frederic Gonzalo
Monday, 14th September 2015
Travel destinations are often among leaders using digital marketing and social media to convey their message and connect with travellers and potential clientele;

Instagram continues to makes strides within the travel marketing realm, as travellers and travel brands alike grow to appreciate and use the mobile application acquired by Facebook back in 2012.

In August, Instagram announced it will evolve and move away from its known square-photo format in order to allow panoramic shots as well. Not to mention ads now rolling out to mainstream access…

Destination Selfies, Japanese Style!

And then Tourism Australia comes along, with its Giga Selfie initiative. As you can see in the video below, this campaign aims the Japanese traveller market, tapping into an already hugely popular phenomenon – taking selfies – and bringing it to the next level through this new feature.

In selected destinations, such a Gold Coast over the past weekend, Japanese travellers (or anybody using the Japanese language mobile application) can snap pictures of themselves… and reveal lots more about the location where they are at!

A great way to show more and influence travellers’ circles of friends and colleagues back in Japan. Note that Japan is an important country to Tourism Australia with more than 320,000 travellers in the past year, representing $1.4 billion in visitor spend.

How long until we see a similar campaign here in North America or in another friendly country?

The Iranian Tour Continues in Tabriz

Duncan Alexander from The Travel Marketing Store has been delivering a keynote address as the 5th Conference on Digital Marketing in Tourism in Iran.  The four city conference has been held in Terhan, Mashad, Tabriz and will be held in Banda Abbas on Thursday 3rd September.

The topic of Duncan’s presentation has been “The Impact of Technology on Travel Marketing and the opportunity for National Tourism Platforms”.  Speaking in Tabriz today Duncan stated that Iran had a unique opportunity as a nation to develop a single source, multi-language distribution platform for its tourism products.   “Should the right public private partnership be created”, he stated, “Iran could build a new generation distribution platform for its magnificent tourism products”.

P1030486Following a moving visit to the  Holy Shrine of Iman Reza in Mashad earlier this week Duncan today visited another UNESCO site, the Bazaar of Tabriz which is the largest covered Bazaar in the world. He commentated “This again, like most of the experiences we have had in the country so far, was amazing.  The Bazaar was a sensual feast of sights, sounds and smells and should be in every persons bucket list for Iran” .

The Digital Marketing in Tourism Conference, organised by media company Kaspid, has been attended by nearly 2,000 delegates so far.  “The thirst for knowledge sharing is so evident from the enthusiasm of the delegates who are keen to learn how to develop their visitor economies through studying international best practices”, stated Duncan.  “There are certainly new partnerships to be forged in this culturally and historically rich country”.

Beacon Technology: The Next Big Marketing Tool for the Travel Industry? | TravelPulse

mobile marketingThe increase of mobile devices has changed the world as we know it, as businesses have needed to adapt and become more mobile-friendly.

Beacon technology—placing beacons to send location-based information and offers to these mobile devices—could have a similar impact in the travel industry and beyond.

Evan Schwartz, CEO of ActionX, a mobile app and cross-screen retargeting company, certainly sees the potential in the technology. The technology has been gaining steam in the last few years, Schwartz said, but it’s about to “explode” in 2015.

The draw of beacon technology to businesses is simple. You aren’t communicating with consumers across a TV screen, where they could be miles away from your business. You are communicating with them at the selling location itself. Retailers have begun to introduce the technology to the public, and it’s starting to make its way into the travel industry, with hotels, airports and airlines beginning to use it.

Miami International Airport, for example, recently launched a new app that uses beacons to help consumers find the correct gate for departure while sending them notifications on their mobile devices for restaurant and retail deals while they’re travelling through the airport.

Marriott International now features beacon technology at 14 of its properties in the United States since unveiling the technology in July 2014. The LocalPerks initiative is available exclusively to Marriott Rewards members, making Marriott Rewards the first major hotel loyalty program to offer geo-targeted, mobile offers during a guest’s stay.

Schwartz, who already has several clients lined up to introduce the technology in the future, told TravelPulse that he sees beacon technology making a similar impact to the travel industry as mobile apps did. He specifically highlighted Virgin Atlantic and Apple as examples.

Virgin Atlantic ran a trial in May 2014 for Upper Class passengers at London Heathrow Airport using Apple’s iBeacon technology. Upper Class passengers had the opportunity to receive special partner offers as they passed through the airport, such as 0 percent commission at a MoneyCorp currency exchange booth.

At the time, Reuben Arnold, brand and customer engagement director for Virgin Atlantic, said the airline had only “skimmed the surface” of the technology, exploring the ability to notify customers of open appointments at the Clubhouse spa or introduce crew members as they board their flight, via the Virgin Atlantic blog.

Beacon technology makes a lot of sense because it almost works like a business owner standing outside and inviting customers in: it’s directly targeting customers at the point of sale.

In fact, Schwartz told TravelPulse back in October that the clients ActionX works with are no longer content with a boost in app downloads—they want to see a clear indication of a boost in revenue. In that sense, beacon technology is naturally a new way of doing just that. It’s no surprise that major companies such as Virgin Group and Apple are embracing the technology with open arms. It’s also no surprise that ActionX—a company that specializes in mobile advertising—has taken it and ran with it.

But why has it taken a few years to really get beacon technology off the ground? Well, as with any advanced technology, it takes some tinkering to completely understand. Businesses have been learning how to fully implement beacon technology into their properties, Schwartz said.

As Sarah Bradley, director of Marriott Rewards Digital Strategy and leader of the LocalPerks initiative, told TravelPulse in December, it’s particularly more difficult to implement the technology at, say, a large-scale resort than it is at a small retailer. You have to make sure beacons don’t cross signals and bandwidth usage can be a problem.

“Installing beacons is a relatively simple process, but the strategy behind their placement and how to trigger the messages is more complex then we had expected,” Bradley said at the time. “The number of outlets, the layout of the hotel and the type of business the hotel drives all impact the placement and message strategy. We have learned quickly, however, and our core team has done a fantastic job of creating a unique experience.”

And for those worried about getting blasted with digital offers everywhere they are (futuristic movies such as “The Fifth Element” come to mind), rest assured, you not only have to download a specific app, but you also have to turn on Bluetooth, location services and the app’s notifications. Similar to personalized on-line marketing these days, advertisers using beacon technology don’t want to bombard consumers with offers, Schwartz noted. They are targeting them for a reason: It could genuinely be of interest to the consumer.

And as travellers move across this wondrous world, beacon technology is only a natural fit for the travel industry.

via Beacon Technology: The Next Big Marketing Tool for the Travel Industry? | TravelPulse.

Tourism New Zealand win PATA Gold Award for marketing

PATA Gold AwardsTourism New Zealand‘s 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign has once again been recognised on the world stage, with its latest win the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Award, Marketing. 

The annual PATA Gold Awards recognise tourism organisations that have made outstanding contributions to successfully promote the travel industry in Asia Pacific.  This year, more than 180 entries from 66 organisations and individuals worldwide were received.  The award will be formally presented to Tourism New Zealand on 19 September at the PATA Gold Awards Luncheon as part of the PATA Travel Mart in Cambodia. 

The Marketing Award will be presented to Tourism New Zealand for its “100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand” campaign.   Tourism New Zealand aims to leverage the huge media and consumer attention that The Hobbit Trilogy has and will continue to achieve, and convert that attention into travel to New Zealand – the country where the movies were made.  The campaign, developed in partnership with The Hobbit moviemakers Warner Brothers and Weta Workshop, has been the primary marketing campaign for Tourism New Zealand in its key offshore markets. The Hobbit and associated marketing campaigns have been a significant contributor to visitor arrival growth to New Zealand over the last 18 months. 

As an international marketing body it is incredibly encouraging to receive acknowledgement of our campaign activity from fellow international tourism bodies and professionals – and we are extremely proud to receive this award“, says Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive Tourism New Zealand. 

Our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign continues to go from strength-to-strength, and it is fantastic to receive such significant acknowledgment as we gear up to launch our activity to leverage the third and last of The Hobbit movies – set to be released later this year.

Holiday arrivals into New Zealand for the year-ending May 2014 were up 8.9 per cent on the previous year with key target market for the Middle-earth campaign, the United States showing 15.3 per cent growth in holiday arrivals.

Voice interaction is changing the face of travel marketing –

call centreWe all want to acquire new customers and gain the loyalty of existing ones – but what is really the key to achieving this? Travel brands are increasingly focusing on the digital journey to support the customer objective, but this does not help anything if the offline customer journey is ignored. It’s not just all about online interactions; there is still a real value in doing business over the phone.

It makes sense to focus on online, especially as in 2013, 72% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008. The constant evolution within social media have dragged businesses’ attention to social and digital platforms. However, when it comes to actual conversions, 65% of businesses consider phone calls to be their highest-quality lead source. This is where the human side of the customer journey comes into play and the point at which the voice can make or break the sale.

travolutionvia Guest Post: Voice is changing the face of travel marketing –

Why Priceline’s peers are struggling to maintain operating margins » Market Realist

By Smita Nair • Apr 29, 2014 9:00 am EDT 

Operating margins

Priceline and its peers such as Expedia (EXPE) and Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) have been investing in marketing and promotion, technology, and personnel in an attempt to improve long-term operating results, but these expenses have pressured operating margins. Priceline’s management said on the earnings call that “operating margins were impacted by 146 bps of deleverage and offline advertising mainly related to our TV campaigns in the U.S. and Australia and the inclusion of KAYAK offline advertising.” Although Priceline has managed to efficiently improve its margins, its peers have struggled.


In 2013, Priceline’s total online advertising expense was approximately $1.8 billion, up 41.2% year-over-year. A substantial portion of this was spent internationally through Internet search engines, meta-search and travel research services, and affiliate marketing. The company has worked on building brand awareness for,,, KAYAK, and via aggressive marketing and promotion campaigns. It said it uses online search engines (primarily Google), meta-search and travel research services, and affiliate marketing as primary means of generating traffic to its websites. It also invested approximately $127.5 million in offline advertising via television, print and radio.

Priceline said its online advertising ROIs were down year-over-year for 2013. Its online advertising as a percentage of gross profit has increased due to lower returns on investment (ROIs) from online advertising, brand mix within the group, and channel mix within certain of its brands. Plus, its international brands are generally growing faster than U.S. brands, and usually spend a higher percentage of gross profit on online advertising.

Priceline CEO Darren Huston said in a Bloomberg interview that the company spends more on search ads on Google, and that results from Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) haven’t worked out for the company. Huston said in the article that the ad spending would be modified to include TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), the KAYAK travel search engine, and Expedia’s (EXPE) search site Trivago. When asked about the emergence of Google as a potential competitor, Hudson said he was not worried, adding “Google of course respects us as an advertiser.”

Expedia mentioned in its annual filing that its marketing channels include social media sites such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR). The marketing initiatives also include promotional offers and traveler loyalty programs such as Welcome Rewards and Expedia Rewards that are recorded under its expenses. Orbitz (OWW) said in its annual filing that its marketing expense increased 16% or $39.5 million to $292 million, due largely to the growth of its private label distribution channel, which increased affiliate commissions by $23.5 million, and search engine and other online marketing of $32.7 million.

via Why Priceline’s peers are struggling to maintain operating margins » Market Realist.

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Fueled by data, individualized ads profoundly changing travel sales – Travel Weekly

Employing a growing paradigm known as “programmatic advertising,” suppliers are bidding against each other for the opportunity to follow their customers across the Internet, and the results could forever change how travel is marketed and sold directly to consumers. That’s because as they follow their customers around the Web and social media services, suppliers are mixing and matching data about those customers’ browsing, searching and spending habits with their own company data to present consumers with highly individualized, real-time ads that personalize everything from product features to price and value add-ons. For example, a traveler might begin a search for a ticket on an airline’s website, then either buy it or leave without completing the purchase, moving on to another site. By being able to follow the customer to the next and subsequent sites, the airline can continue targeting that individual with an ad offering a seat upgrade if they bought the ticket or a slightly discounted fare if they did not.This type of marketing is made possible by combining existing models of online advertising and adding in two new elements to create a potent data stew. First, suppliers are joining two data sets: the company’s own data from loyalty programs and customers’ purchase histories with contextual data derived from tracking their Web browsing in real time, a mix familiar to users of Google. To that data blend, they are adding two elements to create programmatic advertising.

via Fueled by data, individualized ads profoundly changing travel sales – Travel Weekly.