JWT India has won the Indian advertising account of Star Cruises - the world's fourth largest luxury cruise line - following a multi-agency pitch held in Mumbai last month. The decision was communicated to the agency yesterday. While details of the pitch are not available, unconfirmed reports indicate that apart from JWT, O&M, Lowe and Saatchi & Saatchi (among others) attended the pitch. The size of the account is not known.
Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Tarun Rai, senior vice-president & general manager, JWT India, said, "We have been awarded the Star Cruises business. They wanted an agency that could bring a fresh perspective to the category, and it was our holistic approach to the entire cruising experience, based on TTB (Thompson Total Branding), that worked in our favour. Our creative also most definitely swung the account. In fact, the client has informed us that the creative we presented at the pitch will be the one that would finally break." He says that the agency "looked at cruising from a totally new angle", adding that, "Saying anything more would reveal the communication strategy. You'll get to see everything pretty soon, as the advertising should break, latest, by the first week of April."
Malaysia-based Star Cruises was established in 1993 with the aim of tapping the Asia-Pacific region as an international cruise destination, and has, within a decade, become one of the four largest cruise lines in the world. The luxury liner has been operating in India since 1999, and C&S viewers in India are likely to have chanced upon ads for the brand. "There has been some price-oriented communication for the brand in India," says Anuj Mehra, strategy planning director, JWT India. "They have been testing the waters these past three years, and now that they have achieved critical mass, the next round of branding exercises has to begin." He adds that the communication brief was to "define the experience of cruising - which encapsulates Star Cruises' brand image - and communicate that experience to the Indian consumer".
Interestingly, the economic downturn notwithstanding, the luxury cruise segment of the tourism industry hasn't done too badly, owing to the well-heeled nature of the cruise consumer. However, with a cut back in American and European cruise tourists (especially post 9/11), most cruise liner companies have started targeting tourists from developing countries such as India. In fact, traffic from India, though small, has been growing steadily to touch 50,000 tourists last year. The significance of this fact is not lost on Rai. "As a category, it is very exciting," he says. "More so because it shows tremendous potential for growth in India. I am happy we have the opportunity of working on a promising brand." © 2003 agencyfaqs!