Celebrity Cruises and photographer Annie Leibovitz launch 'all-inclusive photo project'
Celebrity Cruises is partnering with renowned photographers to literally change the way travel looks. Today it debuts the ‘All-inclusive photo project,’ an open-source database of images featuring underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. Here are the details and why this marks an important next step for the brand’s ‘Journey WonderFull’ initiative.
American musician John Forté photographed by Annie Leibovitz in the ‘All-inclusive photo project’ / Good Relations PR
Celebrity Cruises is on a mission to infuse a jolt of diversity and inclusion into the world of travel advertising. In a new campaign called the ‘All-inclusive photo project’ (AIPP), the premium cruise line has created a new, free and open-sourced database of images featuring individuals from a broad range of underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.
The brand collaborated with a number of renowned photographers to capture the images for its new campaign, including Annie Leibovitz, an American photographer known for her intense and iconic celebrity portraits. The AIPP also includes images captured by photographers Giles Duley, Naima Green and Jarred Seng.
The new collection of images, according to the brand, “features models, musicians, athletes, artists, activists, refugees and more, all change-makers in their own right from underrepresented groups, as they enjoy the varied offerings on Celebrity’s ships and within the destinations visited.”
The effort is an extension of the brand’s ‘Journey WonderFull’ ad campaign, which launched last September and marked, according to the brand, its “first major step to advance diversity and inclusivity in its own travel marketing with a wide range of diverse travelers depicted.”
The issue of underrepresentation in travel ads – and indeed in ads in general – is nicely summarized by Jarred Seng in a behind-the-scenes video provided by Celebrity Cruises: “The aim of advertising is to present a world for people to aspire to and say: this could be you driving this new car, going on a holiday, going on a luxury cruise ... but if in those worlds you never see a person that looks like you, with darker color skin, or using a wheelchair, or holding hands with somebody of the same sex, then how can you feel like that space includes you? And that’s why a shoot like this is needed, and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of this campaign with Celebrity Cruises.”
The campaign arrives at a time when the industry is attempting to assuage travelers’ fears of returning to cruises amid the ongoing, but waning, pandemic. That fear was kindled early on in the pandemic as cruises came to be associated with horrific stories of quarantine and highly-concentrated contagion. The story of the Diamond Princess was particularly lurid. Now that vaccines are widely available in many parts of the world and the gears of the travel industry have once again started to turn, cruise ship companies such as Celebrity have been faced with the challenge of luring back a spooked but increasingly optimistic populace.