NCL centers largest ad campaign around isles
The trendy marketing will highlight Hawaii with tag lines such as "Luau like it's 1999"
NCL Corp. might be paring down its Hawaii fleet next year, but the Miami-based company is ramping up its destination marketing by centering its largest-ever advertising campaign around the islands.
The trendy campaign, which is designed to spotlight NCL's Hawaii-ported advantages to consumers whose sailing options have grown along with the state's cruise market, will begin next month in source markets on the mainland. It reminds customers that NCL is the only line that can spend all of its cruising time in the islands.
Advertising tag lines like, "Luau like it's 1999," "Don't Drink and Snorkel," and "'Mommy, Where do babies come from?' 'From Hawaii, Dear,'" are designed to appeal to younger Gen-X and family travelers as well as the eternally young baby boomer crowd.
"This is the biggest campaign that we have ever undertaken for any destination," said Andy Stuart, NCL's executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services. Stuart, who presented highlights of the campaign at the Travel Weekly Hawaii Leadership Forum yesterday at the Ala Moana Hotel, said NCL's marketing investment will benefit all of Hawaii's visitor industry.
"We've invested an awful lot in marketing not only cruising but also the destination as well," he said.
While NCL's most recent financial report discussed its continued struggle to keep prices high and operating costs down in Hawaii, Stuart said the company still compares Hawaii's potential to its Seattle-Alaska market and its New York- Caribbean market.
Competitors came into both of those, but the company was still able to carve out a successful niche, he said.
"Hawaii has four times as much cruise capacity in 2007 as it did in 2003," Stuart said, adding that the state's foreign-flagged capacity in 2007 now equals the 2004 combined U.S. and foreign-flagged operations.
NCL, blaming its Hawaii operations for widening losses of its own and its Hong Kong-based parent company, Star Cruises Ltd., will send Pride of Hawaii, its largest and newest U.S.-flagged ship, to Europe in February. NCL's downsizing is meant to bolster pricing in the Hawaii market.
Next year, the company forecasts that Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America will bring 250,000* visitors to Hawaii.
"That's more than any other cruise line has done before," Stuart said.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
» NCL Corp. expects its ships to bring 250,000 visitors to Hawaii next year. A story on Page C1 Thursday said the forecast was 2.5 million.