As we all heard, Carnival Cruise Lines has endured an array of bad press over the past few years. It all started when a Carnival-owned Costa Cruise ship crashed on the coast of Italy and killed 32 people. Then, more recently came the company’s notorious “poop cruise,” in which an engine fire stranded the flagship Carnival line’s Triumph ship off the coast of Alabama and left passengers with a limited supply of food, water, and plumbing for days.
With these types of experiences clogging the news and detracting from any positive associations with the brand, Carnival has taken to optimizing social media to attempt to reach its customers and allure new fans.
With more than 2 million Facebook fans, Carnival Cruise Lines is among the cruise industry leaders in the social media arena. The company’s efforts have been acknowledged with “Best Facebook Brand Presence” in the 3rd annual Shorty Awards. Often called the Oscars of Social Media, the Shorty awards honor those companies that best utilize the Internet to grow their brand.
Carnival also has a few exciting initiatives in the pipeline. Their “Let Your Moments Shine” campaign invites users to help celebrate all the memories that can be made on board their cruises. Fans are invited to share photos and photos with the chance to appear in one of Carnival’s ad campaigns. Topics include food, celebrations, family, destinations, romance, excursions, and activities.
Beginning October 11, the cruise line is launching a “9 Days of Carnival Sunshine” journey on Instagram. A YouTube video helps introduce the trip, adding an additional layer of attraction by utilizing video and cruise-themed partners to help elevate the promotion.
Earlier this summer, Carnival began inviting travel bloggers and social media influencers aboard to share their experiences across various social channels. 10 popular Instagrammers boarded the 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze for Carnival’s first Instagrammers cruise.
Throughout the voyage, the talented photographers, many of whom were cruising for the first time, were snapping away. This resulted in more than 1,000 special moments captured from their trip. The photos can be viewed on the Carnival Moment Tracker.
Despite the series of poor publicity, Carnival has stepped up its game in the social media arena. By experiential promotions through various different mediums, they have been able to create positive associations with their brand.
What other brands have you seen come back from a PR crisis through social media?