Carnival cuts brand advertising after Concordia tragedy


Carnival Corp., parent of Costa Cruise Lines, has halted most broadcast and digital advertising for the Carnival brand. This, less than a week after the crash and capsizing of the Costa ship Concordia which claimed at least 11 lives (it’s  expected to go much higher).

A Carnival spokesman was quoted as saying broadcast, digital (including Facebook and Twitter) and direct mail marketing for the line was suspended “for the time being.”

Carnival had recently unveiled a new campaign via Arnold Worldwide Boston, and had settled in on a regional approach, hitting many of the larger US markets. The effort included TV, online and billboards, and humorously contrast land vacations and cruises.

The first spot, titled “Bear”, featured the duo of a mountain lion and a bear attacking the couple in their car, interspersed with video of the same couple enjoying a drink while at sea.  Reminiscing about “last year’s vacation,” they both say, “Never again.” The commercial closed with a voiceover: “How about a change of scenery this year? Get aboard a Carnival cruise and get more fun for all.”

Carnival’s media budget had called for a better than 10% increase in television advertising in 2012.