NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2006 â€œ For the first time in 10 years, NCL Corporation Ltd. (Å“NCLÂ) today unveiled a new, all-encompassing brand identity created expressly to capture and articulate the companys unique Freestyle Cruisingâ€an approach to cruising unlike any other offered in the industry.
NCLs Freestyle Cruising turns traditional cruising on its head and is characterized, in particular, by having no fixed dining times, no formal dress codes, relaxed disembarkation, up to 10 different restaurants and even more lounges, bars, theatres and other entertainment and activity options.
Spanning all consumer, travel agent and guest touch points, the comprehensive new brand identity captures the non-traditional, free-spirited attitude that is reflected throughout the NCL onboard experience. NCLs innovative onboard experience offers vacationers freedom from the stress and demands of everyday life and freedom to enjoy a less structured, more relaxed, resort style experience than traditional cruising.
The marketing plan features national television, radio, print, newspaper, out-of-home and online advertising, along with a completely new Web site. NCLs guests and travel agents will also see all new materials encompassing all cruise line correspondence, onboard and in-cabin elements and even port signage and terminal dcor.
Consumers and travel agents will get their first look at the new brand identity when it debuts on Oct. 2, 2006 in a variety of media and online at the companys Web site, www.ncl.com.
The new brand identity breaks the mold of traditional cruise industry marketing with its light-hearted, experiential tone. One way the brand is characterized is with a graphic treatment featuring a white fish swimming against the direction of a school of blue fish, depicting NCLs innovative spirit in the cruise industry, as well as the type of guest that NCL is looking to attract, one who is a Å“non-conformistÂ. NCLs research shows that the types of people who are attracted to Freestyle Cruising see themselves as individualists in a world in which increasingly everyone else is doing what they are told and accepting what is offered. NCL guests want to enjoy their cruise on their terms without the structure and regimentation that is still the central feature of traditional cruises.
Å“With NCL set to have by far the youngest fleet in the industry by 2010, with all of our new ships purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising and deployed in all major cruise destinations and our NCL America fleet now fully in place, the time is right to build large scale consumer awareness through a major brand identity initiative,Â said Andy Stuart, NCL Corporations executive vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services.
Å“We believe bringing the brand to life in one unified voice across everything we do will help NCL and our travel partners expand the cruising population,Â said Scott Rogers, NCL Corporations senior vice president of sales and marketing. Å“Our travel partners have done a great job helping educate their clients on the benefits of Freestyle Cruising and selling NCL cruises, and now we are ready to bring the story to everyone, driving more guests into their offices.
Å“Our research shows that non-cruisers and even those who have cruised but were not Ëœin-love with cruising, readily identified with the traditional, staid norms of cruising such as dining and dress code as key barriers to try cruising or repeat,Â Rogers continued. Å“This all-encompassing brand identity truly illustrates how we are different from other cruise lines and seeks to create demand not only among those who have cruised before, but also with non-cruisers who are accustomed to more conventional, land-based vacations.Â
Branding agency GSD&M of Austin, Texas, created the new brand identity and is handling the media planning and buying.
Å“Our challenge was to bring to life the feeling of complete freedom a guest feels on an NCL cruise in every aspect of the brand experience. We created one unified look and feel that extends beyond advertising and surrounds consumers before, during and after their cruise,Â said Roy Spence, president and founder of GSD&M.
The brand identity campaign includes:
that extends beyond advertising and surrounds consumers before, during and after their cruise,Â said Roy Spence, president and founder of GSD&M.
The brand identity campaign includes:
- Broadcast: Directed by Gerard de Thame and choreographed by Vincent Paterson, NCL will air nationally, two 30 second spots and a range of 15 second spots on a variety of network and cable television channels. Å“Watches,Â the first 30 second spot, opens with a choreographed mass of regimented vacationers sunbathing, playing shuffleboard and dining in complete unison, checking their watches persistently to keep on schedule. Then the images switch to illustrate NCLs Freestyle Cruising, with passengers relaxing and enjoying themselves according to their whims. The ads conclude with Å“NCL: Where Youre Free to WhateverÂ and the animated fish graphic. In the New York metropolitan area, NCL will sponsor traffic and weather updates on key AM and FM radio stations;
- Print: Eight different print spreads in more than 20 national consumer and trade magazines, as well as newspaper, feature laidback, free-spirited copy that powerfully articulates NCLs Freestyle Cruising difference, including Å“Our dress code: wear somethingÂ and Å“Dinner will be served promptly at whatever oclockÂ;
- Interactive Media: Fun, playful banner ads on high reach portals such as Yahoo!, comparison shopping/search sites and niche travel sites;
- Out-Of-Home: Specific to the New York metro area, out-of-home elements include commuter rail posters, messaging on the ABC Super Sign in Times Square, and dry cleaning bags that read, Å“Whatever this is, you can wear it onboardÂ;
- NCL.com Web site: Totally new Web site that has been developed with new features, enhanced content and functionality all within the new look reflective of the brand;
- Ports: By the end of the year, all NCL ports will be outfitted with signage that reflects the new brand. Port consultants will wear ties and scarves that feature the fish graphic;
- Onboard: All onboard and in-cabin signage from the cabin keys and welcome aboard packet to comment cards and restaurant reservation cards will reflect the new brand. Labels on traditional in-cabin amenities feature playful phrases, such as Å“flip flops and sandals need not applyÂ on the shoe polishing mitt. Rollout of the onboard elements will take place by the end of the year for NCL ships and by early 2007 for the NCL America fleet.
- Loyalty/Direct Mail: NCLs Latitudes frequent cruiser program and the companys direct mail and email marketing to both consumers and trade will feature the new brand personality.
NCL Corporation Ltd. (“NCL”) is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 15 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. The company is currently building two ships, the Norwegian Pearl for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2006 and the Norwegian Gem for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2007.
In addition, NCL plans to build up to three new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery between 2009 and 2011. NCL is on target to have the youngest fleet in the industry by 2010, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.
For further information, please contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; visit NCLs website at www.ncl.com or on AOL at keyword: NCL.