Carnival's cruise lines sail under 1 flag

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With six cruise lines and 42 ships in its fleet, Carnival Corp. has decided to raise a common marketing flag for the first time and bundle the lines as a package.

The new packaging, themed "The world's leading cruise lines," bowed nationally last weekend in an eight-page color insert in Sunday newspapers in 14 markets and in USA Today's weekend edition.

The new positioning is backed by $1.5 million in incremental spending via Cooper/HMS Partners, Miami, agency for Carnival Cruise Lines. A new Web site (www.leaderships.com) also supports.

As many as four flights of inserts are planned for next year, and TV is under consideration, said Rod McLeod, Carnival Corp. senior VP-marketing.

SAVINGS, REBATES, UPGRADES

Visa USA is a sponsor of the program, offering savings, cabin upgrades and shipboard rebates ranging from $50 on Carnival ships to $1,000 on the Seabourn line.

Visa also is slated to offer other pricing and incentive programs in 1999 marketing efforts, said Ric Cooper, president-CEO of Cooper/HMS.

Carnival Corp.'s cruise operators are Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America-Westours, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.

The new effort combines all of Carnival's cruise lines, yet highlights each one's category strength, Mr. Cooper said. From mainstream line Carnival to upscale Holland America to ultra-premium Seabourn, each has been positioned separately.

The insert provides separate pages for each brand. Together, they represent a "highly diversified, global cruise product line," Mr. McLeod said.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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