New Product Launch: Royal Caribbean International

The launch of Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) $325 million "Legend of the Seas" cruise ship faced a number of major obstacles. The industry was becoming increasingly cluttered and fiercely competitive, with 27 ship introductions planned over the next three years and two other leading lines unveiling luxury vessels within weeks of the Legend launch. The stakes were also extraordinarily high for RCI's introduction of the new ship, since five additional "Project Vision" vessels worth a total of $1.9 billion were slated for inaugurations over the next three years.

At a time of intense competition in the cruise ship industry, KWE Partners helped plan and execute the launch of Royal Caribbean International cruise line's new flagship vessel, the first of six such "Project Vision" ships worth a total of $2 billion. We not only helped the company fully book the first sailing, we hosted more than 300 top media on-board and reached a total of 54 million consumers with high-profile stories about the launch.

The challenge was to develop a multi-faceted public relations program designed to build widespread anticipation for the new ship launch, and set the stage for the upcoming "Project Vision" ship introductions by firmly establishing RCI's leadership in setting new standards of excellence in cruise vacations. We accomplished this by hosting a series of exclusive on-board media luncheons, dinners and overnight "cruises to nowhere" to which leading media representatives from the ship's five port cities were invited. Working in conjunction with our branch and affiliate offices on both coasts, we created and implemented a number of other high profile marketing initiatives, including
  • Gala receptions in the five port cities, which were attended by approximately 2,000 travel industry leaders and VIPs a day;
  • The creation of video news releases and B-roll packages highlighting the ship's innovations, such as the industry's first on-board miniature golf course, and its distinctive design features, including a six-story atrium and 2 million square feet of glass;
  • A vigorous campaign of one-on-one interviews for top company executives with the most prestigious consumer and business/financial print and broadcast media;
  • The development of a broad range of newsworthy story angles and trend pieces targeted to the leading national consumer, cruise-travel, business/ financial, and golf media.

    The media's response to our public relations and marketing campaign was tremendous, with more than 300 members of the press attending the on-board events held in the five port cities. Our print campaign generated extensive coverage in such premier publications as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and The New York Times, reaching a total of 47.1 million readers. We also achieved significant broadcast exposure on such major outlets as NBC's "The Today Show” and ABC's "World News Now," reaching a total audience of 6.8 million.

    As a result of this widespread media coverage and broad scale industry support, the Legend departed for its first destination fully booked.

KWE Partners
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