Cruise Ship Industry to Target Consumers with Image Campaigns

The winter cold and flu season may be behind us, but the damage has been done, especially to the cruise ship industry. The Harris Poll recently surveyed over 2,000 consumers and reports that the high-​profile publicity about illness aboard several major cruise ships has dinged the industry’s reputation. Consumer trust regarding cruising has dropped, along with purchase intent.

Researchers specifically looked at the quality, trust, and purchase intent factors for the cruise industry. All of these factors are down over 10% this year. About 54% of consumers are not interested in taking a cruise in the next 12 months. For consumers who’ve never taken a cruise, that number stands at 58%.  Consumers are also telling researchers that they believe it is safer to fly (54%) than cruise. And, 59% also say that air travel is more reliable.

Deana Percassi, Vice President and Public Relations Research Consultant with Nielsen notes that "In a field as crowded as the cruise industry, bad press for a small handful of brands – or even a single one – can have negative repercussions for major players across the board."  One way for the industry to improve its prospects is to increase advertising efforts, especially to people who intend to take a cruise.

While cruising isn’t for everyone, Ad-​ology Research reports that about 15% of consumers plan to book an excursion in the next year. Nearly 40% of this audience also gambles in casinos, so cruise ships which feature this form of entertainment should be certain to promote onboard gaming. About 40% of these consumers are also interested in body massage and may find this option appealing in any cruise they book. Over 60% of likely cruise ship passengers say that TV ads lead them to take action so travel agents and cruise ship operators should be certain to include this media format in their upcoming ad campaigns.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.