All aboard the S.S. Strategy as we set sail into the vast ocean of advertising campaigns! Just as cruisers seek unforgettable voyages, so do brands yearn for campaigns that anchor deep in consumers’ hearts. Travel with us into the depths as we explore how &Barr charted a course for Port Canaveral with “Cruising Florida’s Space Coast” that didn’t just drop anchor at its destination but made waves in the cruise world. Anchors aweigh!
The Best Way to Get Ready for a Vacation is to Take One
By: Meg Rosenoff, Senior Copywriter, &Barr
People are cruising out of Port Canaveral more than ever, but only some think to start or end their vacation on the Space Coast. Thanks partly to miscommunication from travel sites, the current consumer perception is that you should stay in Orlando when you cruise to Port Canaveral, not the Space Coast itself. We’re &Barr, Florida’s oldest, largest independently owned advertising agency, and we were proud to work with our long-time client, Space Coast Office of Tourism, on another interesting challenge. We started how we always do: with an earnest dedication to cultural listening and insight development. From there, we created a strategic key message to answer that consumer problem: Life begins at the end of your debarkation zone. That is if you’re at the right port. Cruising from Florida’s Space Coast means your port is part of the fun.
Our goal was simple: Make Port Canaveral Florida’s #1 Cruise Port. (Sorry, Miami.) Drive county tourism tax by ensuring people stayed in the same place they’d cruise out of. We’d dethrone other Florida ports by making it clear that they will never have what we have. When we say there’s a lot to do just steps away from the port, we mean it. We discovered that the port’s key differentiator rests on the incredible and unique experiences just “steps” away from where the cruise ships docked. Our research-based strategy highlighted the proximity to out-of-this-world attractions, 72 miles of coastline, and memories that would last a lifetime. Florida’s Space Coast is the only beach that doubles as a launchpad—and we’re launching more than just ships. Home to America’s sandy launchpad and the kind of sleepy beach town you only hear about in stories, you’ll also find unique hotels just minutes from your ship and dining options that’ll put the cruise buffet to shame.
Every creative has been there: sometimes the best answer is the simplest one. The winning idea was to show the concept quite literally: Design and build a totally-custom cruise ship gangplank and take it all over the Space Coast. Countless hours of planning, weeks of pre-pro, four days of shooting, and lots of fun gave us the stunning visual campaign you see before you. Each shot captures the sheer uniqueness of the destination while communicating the ease of access from Port Canaveral. The copy is simple and to the point, reinforcing the idea that the port isn’t just a port. It’s a zoo, it’s a beach… it’s a rocket launch pad. It’s the best vacation you’ll ever have.
The result? Besides some newfangled fabrication skills, *adds art department to resumé* the campaign’s simple and effective execution was a resounding win. We were able to track bookings for visits to the county driven by the Cruise Campaign specifically. The campaign contributed over 23,000 flight and hotel bookings for stays on the Space Coast. Additionally, this campaign was responsible for driving nearly $20 million in economic impact for the county. But the best part? We didn’t just achieve our goal of making Port Canaveral the busiest cruise port in Florida. We made it the #1 busiest cruise port in the world. Here at &Barr, we’ve been thinking, designing, and writing for nearly seven decades—but that’s the kind of win that never gets old.