November 30, 2011: The Issue: How to build excitement and anticipation for the world’s largest cruise line, Carnival Cruise Lines, a brand barely known in Oz? And how to whet the Aussie appetite for a very different style of cruising in a marketplace not only cynical about cruising, but which had also yet to experience the ship, Carnival Spirit, due to arrive in Sydney Harbour in a year’s time in October 2012? That was the mission of consumer public relations agency, Pulse Communications.
The Challenge: Amid a sea of cruise industry negative perceptions and myths, the Pulse team was challenged by Carnival Cruise Lines not only to build excitement for the brand, but also to promote the launch of its Thrill Slide – the world’s steepest and fastest water slide at sea.
Our Insight: To engage and excite Aussies, the Carnival Cruise Lines and Pulse teams understood they needed to bring a piece of “Aussie spirit” to the Carnival Spirit. That meant inviting Aussies to be a part of it – by naming it.
Creative Idea: The “Name the Thrill” public relations campaign was born. Pulse created a consumer experience that invited Aussies to experience the ‘thrill’ of the anticipated Carnival Thrill slide, and then invited them to name it. Building on the great Aussie tradition of the slip and slide, Pulse and Carnival created a 30 metre inflatable Slip & Slide, inviting hundreds of Aussies to attempt to break a new world record for the longest distance travelled on a slip and slide in one hour.
Campaign: The world record attempt was held at Cronulla beach, one of Carnival Cruise Lines’ target audience hotspots. Volunteers to break the record, from local Surf Life Savers to Fitness First members and local triathletes, all took part for the love of Slip & Slide and through a carefully orchestrated media campaign. Driven by a fully integrated campaign across Facebook, NOVA Sydney’s breakfast program, and traditional and social media, Aussies were
invited to get involved, break a record, enter their name the slide submission , then watch as the visual content from the day unfolded.
In total, approximately 1.5 million Australians were touched by the ‘Name the Thrill’ slide public relations campaign
- Over 100 local Aussies, watched by over 1,000 spectators, broke a new world record for the longest distance travelled on a slip and slide – 36.24kms in one hour (smashing the previous world record of 26kms)
- In just four days after the event, Carnival Spirit’s Facebook page saw more than 1,000 new fans, over 4,000 page views, 380 comments and likes and over 40,000 impressions of Carnival updates
- In total, over 1,600 names were entered on the Facebook page to name the Thrill Slide, exceeding KPIs seven times
- Key media coverage highlights included a call to action for Aussies to participate in the world record attempt by weather presenter, James Tobin on Weekend Sunrise (reaching 400,000), a call to action for Sydney-siders to attend the event in Sydney Morning Herald’s “what to do this weekend” pages (reaching 600,000) and TimeOut Sydney (reaching 105,000)
- Close to 9 million Australians were reached with messages about the campaign via more than 25 pieces of media coverage