Only eight months after being named senior VP-marketing with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tourism marketing veteran is off to Norwegian Cruise Line as its VP-marketing. At Norwegian, Ms. Cohen is reunited with Bruce Nierenberg, who last fall was named exec VP at the company.
"We both started our cruise career with what was Norwegian Caribbean Line [the precursor to Norwegian Cruise Line]," Ms. Cohen said. "From there we went our separate ways, but we went separately together."
PATHS FIRST CROSSED IN `70s
Ms. Cohen first met Mr. Nierenberg in the mid-1970s; in 1974, she was a founding partner of Caravetta Allen Kimbrough, Miami, and as VP-media had among her accounts Norwegian Carib-bean Line, whose VP-marketing was Mr. Nierenberg. Almost two decades and several jobs later, in 1992 Ms. Cohen became VP-marketing services with now-defunct American Family Cruises, headed by Mr. Nierenberg.
Twenty-three years after launching her career in the cruise marketing business, Ms. Cohen believes she has much to offer the increasingly competitive industry. Knowledge, experience and marketing to families all are skills she picked up along the way-and all are growing more important to the cruise segment.
That's what convinced Mr. Nierenberg to lure Ms. Cohen back to his ship, he said. Ms. Cohen brings president-level agency experience and extensive client-side knowledge from a number of lines.
In 1994, Ms. Cohen joined start-up Disney Cruise Line and worked there till last July, when she went to the visitors bureau. At Disney, Ms. Cohen learned how to integrate the brand into all levels from product development to cruise packaging, she said.
That experience will be necessary as marketing to families becomes crucial, she said.
Ms. Cohen joins Norwegian as the cruise line attempts to re-energize its brand.
The company has long been known for its provocative "It's different out here" ad campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. However, the agency and client currently are huddling over strategic direction.
Norwegian by the end of April will create an in-house department for collateral and newspaper advertising. The rest of its $20 million to $30 million account will remain at Goodby, with new TV breaking in the fall.
"Had it been Goodby or anybody else, [creating an in-house ad unit] is something we would have done because it makes both economic and creative sense for us to do it," Ms. Cohen said. "This is not a commentary on the agency."
While Goodby's Norwegian advertising has won awards, both Ms. Cohen and Mr. Nierenberg are more concerned with filling cabins.
"Clearly, we're not in the business of winning awards," she said. "While there is energy that is so tangible at [Norwegian], it needs to work hand in hand with a very clear marketing position. That's not what we've done yet."