Mark Murphy | April 02, 2014 6:15 PM ET
The Power Of Choice and Travel Agents
Turn on a television today and you can’t help but see a myriad of cruise line commercials featuring brands from Carnival to Royal Caribbean to Princess Cruises.
They've run in prime location spots all over the tube, whether it be during the Winter Olympics, at the beginning of every commercial break for "Downton Abbey" in the UK or multiple times during "Love It Or List It" in the U.S. The cruise lines are truly picking their spots well.
These commercials are bombarding the airwaves in the hopes of creating demand for cruises vacations from non-cruisers, the vast majority of the public, as well as past cruisers.
They range from hysterical, like this Carnival commercial ...
... to Royal Caribbean’s “WOW” campaign:
They work well in helping those people who have yet to cruise to better understand what the cruise experience might look like.
This is particularly true for Royal Caribbean and how they’ve approached their creative. Their ads are full of activities that are available on a cruise ship, and off, when you choose a cruise vacation.
This goes a long way in knocking down the stereotype that you only sit around and eat buffets all day in a confined environment, something I hear from people who have never experienced this type of vacation.
The major cruise lines aren’t the only ones hitting the airwaves. Take a look at Viking River Cruises and how they are helping the entire river cruise category by running commericals that showcase a type of travel that is in its early stages for most Americans.
All of this marketing is doing two things for today’s travel agents: It’s building demand for travel overall, a very good thing in light of a continued weak economic recovery.
Second, it’s creating more choices for travelers who are turning to travel agents to seek out the right product for their needs.
That’s where the power of choice comes in for consumers trying to make an informed travel decision. For most of these products, especially when families are concerned, this will be the largest discretionary purchase of the year.
With that choice comes the risk of making the wrong decision and blowing their vacation budget, and more importantly vacation time, on the wrong choice.
That’s where travel agents step in to sort through what’s being advertised and matching the client with the right product. The more commercials that run, the more brands that get featured, the more challenging it becomes to choose the right one for your personal experience.
That’s where a good travel agent can step in, provide great advice, and lead the traveler to the brand, and ship, that best meets their needs.
A big byproduct of the cruise line’s desire to create their own brand images is doing a great deal to build the agent’s business, and personal brands, when it comes to selling cruises.
Follow me on Twitter @murphytravels.
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