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When royal Caribbean Cruises overhauled its brand identity and message in 1997, it positioned itself to compete-not just against rival lines-but resorts.

Early last year, the line's name was tweaked to Royal Caribbean International to reflect a newly charted global path, says Adam Goldstein, senior VP-marketing. Then came a new campaign, themed "Like no vacation on earth," from McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.

TV*spots now include land-based or off-ship excursions available, such as horseback riding or snorkeling. The effort was designed as "part of the continuum of becoming a global vacationing brand," says Mr. Goldstein.

In addition to its image overhaul, the cruise line added two ships enabling it to carry 19% more passengers-ultimately increasing passenger traffic from 973,600 in 1996 to 1.46 million in 1997. The company also acquired Celebrity Cruises.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity spent a combined $5 million to sponsor the Super Bowl XXXII halftime show. While the company recently declined its option to sponsor the 1999 event, the effort successfully put forth "a certain, brand-confident voice" for the lines and introduced them to millions of potential cruisers, says Mr. Goldstein.

Along with McKinney, the line works with Del Rivero Messianu, Coral Gables, Fla., for U.S. Hispanic efforts, and J. Walter Thompson Co., Mexico City, for Latin America.

With four new ships on order, Royal Caribbean plans to expand its international presence while continuing to target the North American market, which hovers near 10% penetration for cruising, he says.

"We're based in the cruise sector, but it's our intention to become a global vacation brand," he says.

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