Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Carnival got right and wrong on their Behind the Scenes video

Carnival released Episode 1 of their new series Behind the Scenes: Carnival Vista. Producing a video series with exclusive looks at their newest ship is a great idea. And it seems like Carnival is putting a lot of effort into the look and quality of the videos. But we do have a few nits to pick with the first episode and the direction of the series.

What we like
Peter Gonzalez is the perfect host. He's got the right look and right voice and has just the right energy. How many behind the scenes travel videos have you watched where the host is just too into it and too corny? Gonzalez doesn't come off that way.

The cinematography and editing is very good too. For a YouTube video this looks great. The graphics work well with the images and keep everything moving. The video also captures the scale of the project and the ship.

What we don't like
As cruise junkies, it pains us to write this, but what's the point of this first episode and potentially the series? Clearly Carnival put time and production money into the project. However, who is the target audience? Cruise nuts will get excited about a new ship regardless of how much they see in advance. The cruise media would (and will) gladly cover ship building and at a much lower cost to Carnival. But will this get many non-cruisers to finally take a Carnival Cruise? Are they even going to find the video online? Will the size and scope and unique building process motivate anyone new? As much as those of us in the industry might tire of the same images and selling points (fun and excitement on the seas), that message works. Images of people having a great time on a sunny cruise ship do motivate people to finally try cruising. A state of the art shipyard tour does not.

The series may take a predictable and more marketing-friendly turn. As a fan of ships and ship making, I am thankful to Carnival for making it available. If I were a Carnival stockholder or a cruise seller, I would wonder: "what's the point?"

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