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Posted in: Brand Positioning & Development, Ethnographic/Secret Shopper, Travel


Challenge: Attracting first-time cruisers is one of the toughest challenges in the cruise industry. Once they cruise, they are likely to cruise again.

Objective: Carnival and its agency partner, Arnold Worldwide, wanted to explore the effectiveness of their creative strategy for attracting first-time cruisers.

Solution: Plan-it partnered with Arnold and Carnival to conduct a two-phase study, consisting of focus groups and dyads among families of first-time cruisers, cruise-intenders, and cruise-considerers, both on-board a cruise and on land. Cruisers filled out diaries and were given video cameras, pre-cruise, to record their experiences and provide a firsthand glimpse into their vacation. While on-board, Plan-it’s team also evaluated behavior of cruisers from an ethnographic standpoint to complete the picture of the cruise experience.

Result: Based on insights from the research, Plan-it made recommendations for how Carnival can position itself to resonate most with first-time cruisers, and address key triggers/overcome barriers to cruising. Ultimately, Arnold utilized this research to inform the strategy of its 2010 Carnival campaign, “Fun For All. All For Fun,” which maintained a core brand value, “fun,” while leveraging Plan-it’s insight that first-time cruisers view their cruising experience as an opportunity to try activities they’ve never tried before, a chance to “unleash their true self.”