celebrity cruises_celebrity love island
Without doubt, the so-called ‘WAVE’ period is the most important time commercially for any cruise brand. This annul turn-of-year period accounts for around 20% of yearly booking revenue and is subsequently both very noisy and very competitive.
Celebrity Cruises came to us with three simple requirements:
• Without additional budget, increase engagement among the vitally important travel agent community and, subsequently, drive bookings during the WAVE period
• Reinforce Celebrity’s existing #CelebrityLovesAgents proposition, and raise excitement about the forthcoming launch of its first new ship in more than a decade, Celebrity Edge
• Dovetail to the wider WAVE platform and support achievement of the overall booked passenger and other commercial targets.
We created a vehicle that would give us cut-through across the WAVE period, starting communications sooner than ever and slowly ramping up the excitement. We also exploited a more direct channel to the agents for the first time, with a ‘social first’ strategy underpinning our traditional outreach through travel trade media and the face-to-face work of the Celebrity sales team.
Exploiting the buzz around the 2017 series of ITV’s hit reality show Love Island, (and the obvious linguistic link to #CelebrityLovesAgents) we:
• Recruited four of the contestants as ‘Celebrity Love Island Ambassadors’
• Created a series of films that could be shared through the Celebrity Cruises UK Agent Facebook page to announce the WAVE campaign, reveal the various incentives available for top performing agents (including the chance to win a place on Edge when it launches, a personal visit by a Love Islander to the agent’s office or one of 35,000 spot prizes), and maintain hype through the whole WAVE period.
• Our campaign was announced via a teaser film broadcast through the Facebook page which built excitement without revealing the talent – and ensured Celebrity’s campaign was the only one they wanted to hear about.
• Talent was revealed in subsequent films, which combined our Love Islanders and members of the Celebrity trade sales team, and aired at the same time as exclusive launch interview articles were published in the key trade media.
Subsequent Love Islander-fronted films were drip fed throughout the WAVE period, with tips for making successful sales with Celebrity, reminding them of the various incentive prizes or generally just maintaining morale and hype. We even had Love Islanders making call outs to agents from the dedicated trade call centre.
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This spectacularly successful campaign married the twin agent obsessions of reality TV and social media, creating the perfect sweetspot in which Celebrity could leverage its ‘love’ for this critical sales channel. It was the first time a cruise line has invested in partnering with high-profile celebrities for a trade-only campaign.
We were tasked with increasing agent engagement, and exceeding a sales target of 21,000 booked passengers. With no additional budget, more than 23,400 passengers had been booked (+11% over target and +20% higher than the same period 12 months prior) when WAVE ended. Moreover, revenue was £2.5m over target.
Our Facebook content garnered over 16,000 views of the launch video – the most engaged-with content ever delivered by Celebrity – and nearly 30,000 views of the campaign films during the WAVE period itself. That equates to an 855% increase in video views, a 710% increase in post engagement, a 189% increase in page reach and a 59% increase in page likes year on year.
Additionally, more than 75 pieces of trade-facing coverage were secured (+34% YoY), with a combined reach of over 450,000 and total value over £125,000. It was the most talked-about trade campaign of the year.
In the words of Jo Rzymowska, Vice President & Managing Director of Celebrity Cruises UK, Ireland and Asia, "Siren's work in conceiving of and executing the Celebrity Love Island trade campaign made all the difference to our 2017/2018 WAVE period. We've never experienced such high levels of engagement among the trade. In doing so, they helped us to smash the trade sales target and increase the overall share of this vital channel - all within budget! Brilliant!"
% Increase in facebook post engagement
% Increase in trade press coverage YOY