Cruise lines historically have considered land-based destinations their archrivals. But for the new competitor, Disney's other attractions will be its greatest allies.
WEIGHS ANCHOR JAN. `98
The line will tap the drawing power of everything from Disney theme parks to movies-in everything from advertising to cruise-theme park packages-as it heads to its first sailing in January 1998.
"With the reach that the Walt Disney Co. has a capability of delivering to the consumer marketplace, it's safe to say we'll be very powerful in that area," said Disney Cruise Line VP-Marketing Ken Potrock.
Although the line won't board its first passenger for more than a year, marketing efforts kicked off this month, as did campaigns from other, long-established cruise lines.
With a theme of "Discover uncharted magic," Disney this month began its first consumer marketing campaign, a direct-mail program offering advance reservations to more than 10,000 current Disney annual passholders and Vacation Club members.
Consumer print advertising will break next March, followed by TV in June. Disney Cruise Line and its agency, Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, will also run trailers on Disney videos, and promotions and commercials on the Disney Channel, ABC and ESPN.
WILL USE STORES, PARKS
International marketing will be positioned in Disney stores and parks, Mr. Potrock said.
But what Disney executives consider the most important piece of the marketing push is tying in with the 15-month promotion surrounding Walt Disney World's 25th anniversary celebration, which begins in October.
Disney Cruise Line is also exploring shipboard tie-ins with Disney promotional partners, Mr. Potrock said. Such partners include Eastman Kodak Co., AT&T Corp., American Express Co., Mattel, Coca-Cola Co., Nestle USA, National Rent-a-Car and McDonald's Corp.
Disney executives hope 70% of passengers will book "seamless" and "hassle-free" weeklong ship-and-Disney World package vacations, which include a combination of days on the water and in the Orlando-area parks.
Throughout the industry, September has been a busy month.
Celebrity Cruises broke two new animated 30-second spots this month, via Korey, Kay & Partners, New York. The commercials use avant-garde animation to portray hectic daily life. For example, one spot titled "Wake-up Call" shows a phone ringing at 3 a.m. and morphing into a monster that attacks would-be sleepers.
Cunard Line announced the launch of a $13 million multi-tier global branding campaign from Bates USA, New York. The effort uses TV, print, direct mail and interactive marketing, including a Web site (http://www.cunardline.
com) and a CD-ROM. Tagline is "Where else in the world," with the goal of re-establishing Cunard as a luxury brand.