Cunard: Driving engagement rates with first-of-its-kind influencer marketing

Cunard: Driving engagement rates with first-of-its-kind influencer marketing

The story of Cunard’s strongest social campaign of the year, reaching over 5 million users in one week and delivering on key metrics.

The Challenge

The cruise industry faces misconceptions about cruise holidays, with many assuming that cruises are only suitable for older (55+) travellers. Cunard is traditionally associated with being a luxury, legacy brand and tends to attract an older audience. Cunard were looking to attract a wider customer base and raise awareness of their brand and exciting new locations amongst a younger 35+ affluent audience, using a sophisticated integrated campaign.

In order to connect with this hard to reach audience, a digital- focused approach would be required, a real departure from Cunard’s traditional media approach where their core audience live. Instagram was identified as the key platform for the campaign - used as a platform for inspiration and discovery, it would drive context of the campaign at scale.

Campaign objectives

Drive mass awareness of Cunard and its new ports of call, with a 30% penetration of target audience 35+ through paid Instagram.

Generate consideration of a Cunard cruise by driving engagement with influencer content, earning an engagement rate above the 2% benchmark.

The Solution

Working in conjunction with indaHash, PHD UK and Clear Channel, Cunard ran an innovative and first-of-its-kind partnership that combined the power of influencer marketing and 'Digital Out Of Home'.

In their first Photographic Journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun, Cunard used the influencer marketing platform indaHash to identify and select the four most suitable social media content creators from their platform, with a specific interest in lifestyle and travel and a passion for photography. These influencers were invited aboard Queen Elizabeth on her voyage along Norway’s coastline to the Arctic Circle.

Over the course of 14 days, the influencers were tasked with documenting the luxury dining and leisure activities onboard as well as the landscapes and exciting new ports of call such as the town of Narvik and city of Haugesund.

The content created was uploaded via the indHash platform and was dynamically placed into DOOH ads across Clear Channel’s mall network throughout the UK in real-time. The content appeared on digital six-sheet screens inside shopping malls nationwide, including Manchester Arndale Centre, Ealing Broadway and Drake Circus in Plymouth and on Malls XL Screens.

The Results

This unique and industry-first campaign created a sophisticated and immersive experience for audiences across the country. The strategic use of influencer marketing and DOOH, both allowed consumers to experience the brand in a fun and memorable way and extended the life of the campaign by reaching audiences online and in shopping malls across the UK.

Over the two week period, the four specifically selected influencers created 40 pieces of unique content, with an audience reach on Instagram 16.5% higher than the target.

The campaign drove a 50% increase in searches on the Cunard website during the campaign period, compared to previous campaigns.

Overall the campaign resulted in an impressive 12% engagement rate overall, achieving an engagement rate 6x higher than the benchmark across the Instagram platform.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.