Y&R and Mediacom Emerge Winners in Crystal Cruises Pitch

First Win For Y&R's Newly Repositioned West Coast Offering

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Luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises has chosen two WPP shops, Y&R California and MediaCom West, as its new lead creative and media shops after a three-month review.

Doug Sweeny
Doug Sweeny

This is the first pitch and win for the newly relaunched Y&R California, which has seen leadership changes under Y&R's new global CEO David Sable. Doug Sweeny, formerly head of global marketing at Levi Strauss, was brought in as president while Joe Kayser -- former creative at Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA and Cutwater, among others -- came in as chief creative officer earlier this summer.

At Y&R California, which has offices in Los Angeles in San Francisco, Crystal joins a roster that includes NCAA, Citrix, portions of Mattel and Disney business, and Jenny Craig.

Select Resources International led the review, and Y&R -- which brought in sister shop Mediacom as its partner -- emerged the winner out of a field of at least half a dozen shops. M&C Saatchi, Los Angeles was the incumbent for creative, and Round 2 was the media incubment.

Said Nitsa Lewis, VP-Crystal Cruises in a statement: "Y&R California and MediaCom are a powerful, smart team that developed a strong strategic platform...we believe it will allow for deep extensions in multiple communication platforms and is a gorgeous creative solution that will set Crystal Cruises apart."

The cruise line spent about $10 million on measured media in 2010, according to Kantar, but for 2011 it's on track to lift that number closer to $15 million. While print is a key part of the company's media mix, it is also heavily relying on Y&R to create video content and film, digital, mobile and social media marketing executions as well, Y&R's Mr. Sweeny said.

The first work will break in early 2012. "We're going right into production on it, will launch in trade magazines in January, and February and March for consumer magazines," Mr. Sweeny said.

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