- Client:Celebrity Cruises
- Project:Celebrity Edge ship launch
Celebrity Edge, the groundbreaking new Celebrity Cruises ship, was coming to Europe in a two-day trade and media event from Southampton. It had to be the best international ship launch Celebrity Cruises had ever seen. We created a dynamic campaign, building anticipation throughout the guest journey from invitation to event, where the cruise terminal entrance was transformed into a show-stopping experience with 2,000 balloons.
The world’s best new ship
For multi-award-winning Celebrity Cruises, innovation is key. They aim to disrupt the cruise industry status quo, so when they announced their newest ship Celebrity Edge in November 2016, it represented a break from traditional cruise thinking with a host of industry firsts.
The event of the year
The ship was launched in the US in December 2018, with a European launch scheduled from Southampton for May 2019. It would be a two-day trade and media event, driving anticipation for Celebrity Edge. Celebrity Cruises asked us to create all the launch event materials – it had to be the best international ship launch they’d ever seen.
The ship had been almost continuously promoted in the previous two years – so the challenge was how to generate still more buzz?
For Celebrity Cruises, this is so much more than a ship launch. This says everything about who we are as a brand, and what we stand for.
We thought big and bold – we knew we had to build anticipation for the guests at each stage, from the invitations to the event itself. Our concept was simple: after all the hype, Celebrity Edge was finally here. The ship had been named Cruise Critic’s Best New Ship 2018, so the launch was pitched as her glamorous, star-studded ‘European premiere’.
Many of the guests would have visited the cruise terminal several times before, so we had to make sure it was unrecognisable.
Visually, we wanted a signature graphic device that would work regardless of size or format. The Edge logo featured a subtle angled split that made an ‘edge’ at 23.5º, the same as the earth’s axis – perfect for creating a distinctive graphic hook to unify everything we did.
The range of materials we created was huge. From die-cut silver-foiled VIP invitations and excitement-building emails, to OOH, to striking window vinyls, six-sheets, a 24pp guide, custom media lanyards and much, much more, we had it covered.
The star of the show was the cruise terminal entrance. To create a VIP ‘premiere’ experience, we completely transformed the uninspiring building. On arrival, guests walked through plush velvet curtains via a blue carpet, into a space filled with balloons. It took 2,000 balloons (and an all-nighter) to fill the ceiling space, with netting to keep the balloons at exactly the right level. Each balloon was attached to a card with one of eight quotes from Malala Yousafzai, Celebrity Edge’s godmother. The final touch was a 2m tall 3D Edge logo, right in the centre for photo opps.
The launch was a blockbuster success. Guests loved it – the hashtag #CelebrityEdge showed up on social media with photos, exclamations, and accolades. And the client loved it too.
The terminal has never looked so good, and the collateral and banners were superb. It was everything I had hoped for, and I know how much work and passion you all put into it.
Jo VaughtonDirector of Marketing