New York City in February is cold and damp and a vacation in the sunny tropics would be a welcome break for most everyone—especially after spending time slogging through sleet and snow. This February, Royal Caribbean International, brought the “Royal Experience” to NYC 42nd Street S train commuters with a special advertising program.
“Our research indicated that we need to connect with potential customers when they least expect to hear from us, but need the benefits of a Royal vacation the most; namely, on a busy morning commute during the winter months. We wanted to bring Royal to the People,” said Betsy O’Rourke, SVP, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International.
The subway cars, which are wrapped both inside and out, reflect actual Royal Caribbean cruise ships. The cars’ interiors are each separately wrapped as an onboard theater featuring marquees of some of the Broadway shows guests can see onboard select Royal Caribbean ships; an onboard spa with bamboo showers and masseuse; as well as an open deck area complete with a Flowrider surf simulator and surfer.
The entire process from concept, to planning the shoot, to building the files, to installation of the final creative took about six months. The photo assets were shot for a week on Oasis of the Seas in October 2011 and then transferred to a team of retouchers and graphic studio artists to compose the images together into the experiences in each car, as well as the exterior. The team spent two months on the retouching and mechanical builds to the specs set forth by the New York MTA.
“Mindshare brought the idea to the table as a fun activation for the new campaign,” said O’Rourke. “JWT, our agency of record, came up with the creative concept, and worked with the vendors CBS Outdoor and Blue Ocean, who oversaw the printing and installation of the wrap.” The shuttle graphics were printed on an EFI Vutek 3250 printer on 3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3 with 3M 8519 lamination interior and exterior.
Social media also played a part in this campaign. Commuters were encouraged to take photographs and videos to share through their social media channels, tagging Royal Caribbean by using specific hashtags. “Utilizing social media and encouraging riders to Tweet or post their photos of the shuttle is a way for consumers to interact directly with Royal. It also encourages Royal’s loyal fan base of current cruisers to become ambassadors of the brand as well,” said O’Rourke.