'NORWEGIAN WAY' SHINES IN CRUISE LINE'S CAMPAIGN: SMALLER SHIPS, PERSONAL SERVICE HIGHLIGHTED IN FIRST Y&R WORK

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Touting "The Norwegian way," Norwegian Cruise Line this week breaks its first campaign from Y&R Advertising, Chicago.

Print ads will first appear in travel-industry trade publications; consumer ads will start in January.

The new effort replaces the "It's different out there" campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Even though that advertising had won several industry awards, Goodby and Norwegian unexpectedly split last summer, just months after Nina Cohen joined the cruise line as VP-marketing.

Goodby recently re-entered the category when it was tapped by Crystal Cruises.

GOODBY NOT WHAT WAS NEEDED

The Goodby campaign was an excellent effort, but it was not what Norwegian needed, Ms. Cohen said. The advertising did not impart enough information about the cruise line to help build the brand, she said. Norwegian needed to create a new brand image after emerging from several years of turmoil, including serious financial difficulty in the early 1990s.

Y&R's market research found cruise travel is a commodity, said Kay McIlwain, director of client services and strategic planning. For the public at large and travel agents, "a cruise is a cruise," and cruise advertising in general has done little to banish that idea, she said.

BIGGEST ASSET ITS NAME

Research found Norwegian Cruise Line's biggest asset was in its name, said Creative Director Tom Scharre, noting that Norwegians are associated with seafaring and the outdoors.

In addition, the line's smaller ships set it apart from rivals' "floating malls," Mr. Scharre said.

"The core of this campaign is 'Let's not apologize for what we are,' " he said. Instead, the first ad features a plaque with a "mission statement" committing to small ships, personalized service and unusual destinations.

Trade ads will emphasize spacious accommodations, less crowded conditions and exotic ports of call. In one, a snaking red rope surrounds the words "As other cruise lines launch ever larger ships, they become less of a cruise and more of a line."

Consumer print ads will highlight nightlife on board and a new ship, the Norwegian Sky. TV will break during the first quarter of 1998, also carrying on the "Norwegian way" theme.

NEED TO RESEED

The budget for the campaign has not been set yet but will be determined based on Norwegian's needs, Ms. Cohen said. With new ships and added cabins increasing capacity by 40% in the near future, "we recognize the need to reseed our

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