P&O Cruises preps “emotional” Christmas campaign

P&O Cruises is readying a new television campaign that aims for an emotional engagement with potential and past customers rather than delivering a price message.

PO Cruises
P&O Cruises’ marketing director says its heritage gives the brand category leader status.

Recently appointed marketing director Christopher Edgington says that the campaign will “move away from classic product shots and people dining and talking to illustrate the emotional benefits passengers new and old can enjoy on a cruise” and how it can be “a fulfilling life experience”.

The new campaign, being created by Rainey Kelley Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, will start in the first week of December but ramp up in the post Boxing Day period.

Edgington says that the cruise line, which celebrated its 175th anniversary last year, will look to tailor its product and service offering more to suit its majority British customer base.

He says: “90 per cent of our customers are UK based and that makes sourcing them that much easier than for some of our brands.”

P&O Cruises recently overhauled its pricing structure to make it simpler for customers to see what they are actually buying for their money and ditched its Vantage fare promise introduced under a year ago.

Edgington says: “I think the cruise sector could do with some good, honest, old-fashioned ‘does what is says on the tin’ marketing activity that is clear about the experience the customer is going to have.”

“We have 175 years of heritage and our maritime experience allows P&O Cruises the right to claim ownership of the category, ” he adds.

New products recently unveiled include a fly-cruise product sailing from the Mediterranean that Edgington points out is attractive to families because they can start their cruise in sunshine.

The cruise line is also launching the industry biggest cruise ship, the Britannia, next year and will be focusing its marketing and PR activity on the vessel.

Edgington has previously worked at Gala Coral Group, Walt Disney and McDonald’s and is part of a new team  at P&O Cruises’ parent company Carnival UK assembled by chief commercial officer Gerard Tempest.

Tempest joined the company from Whitbread last year and has since sourced management talent from outside the travel industry, including appointing former Direct Line marketer Jeremy Tait as insight director.

Cruise numbers from the UK are steadily rising and expected to hit 1.8 million this year.

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