The Florida Keys and Key West are doing their part in response to the economic crisis. Today a new commercial entitled “The Road To Recovery” will begin airing on national cable TV. The spot was created by Tinsley Advertising in Miami and shows spectacular aerial shots of the Overseas Highway, one of the most scenic drives in the world with views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way we experience kayaking, fishing, diving and nature. The voice over says “Officially it’s the Overseas Highway, but these days it’s the road to recovery.” The viewer is then directed to fla-keys.com for special savings throughout the Keys. “We wanted to create a message that lets people know that there is no time like now to live your life and focus on what’s really important, spending time with the people you love in a beautiful place like the Florida Keys” said Dorn Martell, Creative Director at Tinsley. “Today people need permission to travel” said John Underwood, Account Supervisor. “Everyone is looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Our spot shows them that paradise is on the last stretch of US-1, known as the Overseas Highway.” The new spot will run as part of the Florida Keys “Come as You Are” campaign created by Tinsley who has held the Florida Keys account for 22 years.
The Admissions Advertising Awards criteria is based on both marketing results and creative excellence and Addy’s are bestowed for the most compelling and creative advertising.NSU’s new campaign won a total of 12 distinctions including Best of Show in the Admissions Advertising Awards which included over 2,000 entries from over 1,000 institutions from all 50 states and several foreign countries.
Five NSU awards were garnered in this year’s Addy Awards Miami event which recognized the best work for top brands including Fortune 500 firms.
The list of awards follows:
Ultra luxury cruising should be like vacationing in a private club, where the wait staff knows your name, strains the pulp from your morning orange juice and serves that nightcap martini shaken, thank you, not stirred.
While money is no object for yachts of Seabourn’s core base of millionaire vacationers a one-week Mediterranean cruise, for example, can run up to 415,000 per person, the Carnival cruise line’s clientele is attuned, perhaps more so than any other, to calculating value. Yes, they want the extras, just not at the rack rate. Therefore, these customers are apt to appreciate the brand’s soft touches in a category were cruisers complain about getting nickel and dimed to death for onboard amenities.
When passengers return to the Seabourn Pride from a complimentary shore excursion, they can rejuvenate at on-deck masseuse stations for a Random Massage Moment, a free 15-minute rub down. Or they can relax with another comped amenity, Pure Pampering, by choosing one of six aromatherapy bath selections from U.K. toiletries designer Molton Brown. Then, a stewardess comes to their suite, draws the water and tosses in a few rose petals. After dinner, guests can stroll on deck toward Movies Under the Stars and watch a Hollywood film with free popcorn and drinks (top shelf liquor, of course) thrown in. Wine and spirits are free throughout the ship during the entire journey. Tipping is discouraged.
The cruise industry carried a record 7.4 million passengers in 2002, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Just about all boats rose with the tide, as consumers flocked to a broader menu of embarkation points just a drive or short flight away. But while mass market brands rebounded by adding ships or resorting to discounted tickets, Yachts of Seabourn reaped the rewards from a different voyage it began in 2000 when it repositioned its brand and returned to its roots as a luxury cruiser.
The parent company does not break out performance results by brand, but Yachts of Seabourn’s bookings during the last “wave” period (the November through January time frame when the industry is aggressively courting advance business for the coming year) jumped 307% in 2001-02 above the 2000-01 period, when the company had six ships.
“While our costs of operating the ships are much higher than they were before, the profitability of the ships have greatly improved,” said Howard Frank, Carnival vice chairman/COO.
Customers and travel agents have noted the results. “They added a lot of new services that have been very well received,” said Barbara Valeriay, master cruise consultant with Reid Travel, Boca Raton, Fla. “We absolutely have had no negative comments from our clients about their Seabourn cruises, and they have the best service in the industry.”
Seabourn, as it was simply called before the rebranding effort began two years ago, always boasted a sense of service and style for the wealthy traveler. But its fleet of six ships delivered far different onboard experiences, confusing consumer perceptions of the brand. Pride, Spirit and Legend were the classic vessels, accommodating 200 passengers with a virtual one-to-one crew-to-passenger ratio. The level of personal attention was different aboard both the casual milieu of Goddess I and II (both 100-passenger ships) and the Sun, which carries 700 guests.
“When you have three [different products] under one brand, it is hard to communicate who you are,” said Richard Meadows, svp-worldwide sales and marketing for Yachts of Seabourn. “That confusion extended to the delivery of the brand itself.”
At the time, Seabourn was integrated with sister brand Cunard, whose reputation was also fading from a lack of focus. When competitors Crystal, Radisson Seven Seas and Silversea challenged by the adding feature-rich ships sporting balconies (accommodations that were missing from the two Carnival brands), Seabourn and Cunard responded with discounts. Bookings declined and guest feedback told marketers that Seabourn was not up to par.
Carnival, the No. 1 cruising company _ which operated its namesake Carnival ship, Holland America, Costa and Windstar, and is on the verge of merging with P&O Princess Cruise _ reorganized its corporate structure during 2001, allotting Seabourn its own team of dedicated sales and marketing personnel. Meadows took the helm, committed to emphasizing the brand’s yacht-like intimacy.
While other cruise lines added ships, Seabourn scaled its fleet back to those three classic vessels and updated it brand name /logo to the Yachts of Seabourn. The name was chosen to connote small and intimate at a time when cruise lines were launching floating cities. Marketers then dispensed with Seabourn’s “On top of the world at Sea level” ad campaign in exchange for “Intimate ships, Uncompromising luxury,” a print effort from Tinsley Advertising, Miami, which also handled the badge redesign. Previously, ads urged travelers to take in the Alps, the pyramids, the Serengeti and other destinations through three styles of ships. Now, Seabourn pitches one type of sailing that is “as intimate as a gondola without the bad opera.”
The company invested $25 million in refurbishments _ including adding balconies _ and partnered with the likes of chef Charlie Palmer, House of Heidsieck champagne and Molton Brown to create a fancy club atmosphere.
“We distilled the brand to its core essence: the three classic Seabourn ships with extraordinary high crew-to-guest ratio and a complete focus on service and the soft touches of the ship itself,” said Meadows. “Getting back to those roots and communicating the brand’s unique selling proposition helped reestablish us back to a place where we can be successful.”
Seabourn reinvented such routine offerings as room service by delivering meals in courses like a find restaurant. Caviar in the Surf caters to passengers with the crew manning floating caviar and lobster tail stations during private beach parties.
A New co-branding effort with acclaimed chef Charlie Palmer _ purveyor of the five-star Aureole, Metrazur and Alva restaurants in New York _ brought ship menus to a more contemporary and stylized level. Arriving guests always had been greeted in their suite with a complimentary bottle of Heidsieck, but now the fine bubbly get poured throughout all lounges and bars. This year, a Bose radio/CD with a library of music in all styles will be installed in cabins, which have been refurnished with new wall coverings, fabrics and accents of richly polished wood, granite and leather.
“When you’re defining yourself as a brand that provides the best of the best in ultra luxury travel, you have to surround yourself with people who have the same vision,” said Meadows. “We started to seek out companies that wanted those relationships and it’s turned out to be a smart thing so us.”
Direct mail was augmented last April with the return after a five-year hiatus of Seabourn Club Herald, a lifestyle magazine with a circulation of 60,000 past guests. Tucked between features about Panoz Esperante roadster and the Blue Hole of Belize are Palmer recipes, Seabourn news about itineraries and onboard amenities and Seabourn guests posing in front of the ruins of Pompeii and the Sawyer glacier.
A “tremendous amount” of past guests returned after learning that significant investment was poured into the brand, said Meadows.
“Brands excel when you clearly know who you’re trying to attract, and you have a product that matches the audience succinctly.”
Throughout history, creativity has led to technological advances and technology has inspired and facilitated creativity. What comes first and how does one affect the other? The following examples seek to explore this relationship and maybe even can help us answer the toughest question of all; what’s next?
One day a bunch of cavemen were sitting around in a cave in France. One picked up a burnt stick and started drawing. Another chewed up a bunch of berries, held his (or her) hand against the wall and spit. Meet the inventor of the pencil and the airbrush and the beginning of the relationship between technology and creativity. The technology of paint determined the limits and effectiveness of this pictographic language and it remained that way until the invention of writing.
As pictures evolved into concepts, the stylization of these visuals gave us the standardized Egyptian Canon – a language of pictures, but an interesting thing happens in the transition from paint to carved stone. The tool itself changed and so did the art. As language evolved and the alphabet came to replace pictographs, the chisel determined the typography of cultures like the Greeks and Romans. Look at a font like Trajan and it’s obvious from the serifs and thick to thin transitions that the technology of the tool shaped the font. Asian and Arabic languages were created with a brush and to this day reflect the influence of that tool. The Camera Obscura re-shaped the creativity of the Renaissance and facilitated the shift from the one-dimensional art of the dark ages to the use of perspective and realism (yeah, they traced!).
The printed page not only led to the Reformation (Through the mass printing of the Bible in German and the distribution of the theses of Martin Luther) – but also a revolution in the look of art. From Albrecht Durer to Gustave Dore, the technology of the woodcut determined what was creatively possible. Lithography affected creativity by allowing the artist the ability to create halftones from the grain of a litho stone instead of relying on the space between cuts in wood.
Photography not only revolutionized art, but has actually re-wired the human brain. There was a time when a drawing of a horse was perceived as a horse, after photography took over, only a photo could be considered reality. You may have encountered this with clients who cannot understand a layout or storyboard unless it is executed with photographs. “Do ya’ see it as a cartoon?” (This is an actual client comment after seeing a drawn storyboard!) But the advances in photography have also freed the artist to no longer be in the business of merely documenting “reality.”
When Edison first created moving pictures, no one understood anything but a lock off shot where the action unfolds like a play. But soon this technology led to a whole new way of perceiving. Things we take for granted like the close-up, the cut-away and the passage of time were impossible theatrically and only came to be after the invention of motion pictures. When Georges Melies screened “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” in 1902 it literally blew peoples minds with his use of cuts, match dissolves, painted backgrounds and special effects. (It’s still a better movie than the last Star Wars if you ask me).
Now we live in a digital world. Has this enhanced creativity or hurt it? The answer is both. The speed and affordability of digital acquisition has made it possible for filmmakers and musicians to create works that previously would have been impossible. The idea that you could write a song, shoot a video and author a DVD in a single day and troll the bars with it tonight is truly revolutionary.
On the other hand, the mystique of creativity has been forever tarnished by the over-accessibility of our tools. Any chimp with Photoshop is now a designer and stock effects are as cheesy as synthesizer presets from the eighties. Anyone with a sample library and Soundtrack is a musician. (Who ever liked practicing anyway?) The dreaded royalty-free CD has made layouts easier to sell, but it’s an endless recycling of the same crap. What art director hasn’t cursed this brave new world after spending hours flashing through thumbnails on the net when a drawing would have been more fun and original? Digital posting of dailies and stills from shoots in progress can now be viewed by a limitless number of unqualified eyes. How lame is it to screen a spot or a film in a tiny Quicktime Movie window? And the limitations of Flash have actually influenced the look of broadcast spots.
Conversely, the advent of high definition has caused set designers and make-up artists to radically re-think their craft. What used to look acceptable on film and video looks crude on HD (Just watch “Trading Spaces” in High Def and you’ll say, “Boy, did they butcher that room or what?”) But, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle and the limits of what is possible creatively have expanded beyond our wildest imagination.
The Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction to mass production. The 8 millimeter craze in the early 90’s was a reaction to film that was getting too slick. Grunge was a reaction to over produced LA hair bands. The much overused blue/green anti-transfer look was a reaction to really good telecines and colorists. And soon you will see an anti-digital movement. People are beginning to understand the difference between a live performance versus an Mp3, an original illustration versus a stock photo or even the value of a hand drawn idea. And we’ve seen so many special effects, that nothing really amazes us any more.
Creativity will evolve simultaneously with technology and new tools will inspire and shape new ideas, just like they always have.