How Royal Caribbean and Samsung Ads used CTV to gain powerful incremental reach

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Last year, overseas holidays made their highly-anticipated return after a lengthy period of disruption due to the pandemic

Royal Caribbean International, the global cruise provider, had developed a ‘Rise to the Cruise’ campaign to be delivered across linear channels. This ad provided audiences with a timely reminder of the excitement that cruises can provide, enabling Royal Caribbean to cut through the noisy tourism sector.

Travel companies worldwide were ramping up their advertising spend in a bid to capture consumers’ attention. The travel sector’s global ad spend grew 36% year-on-year (YoY) in 2022. Royal Caribbean wanted to extend its reach and engage consumers that their linear campaign was potentially missing - namely younger demographics, reflecting its median passenger age of early 40s and adventure-seeking families.

Royal Caribbean also wanted to reach streaming audiences, and recognised it needed an experienced partner to bridge the gap. This is where Samsung Ads emerged onto the scene - a leader in its field when it comes to driving Connected TV (CTV) incremental reach campaigns.

Samsung’s extensive collection of opt-in, first-party data spans across more than 9 million UK Samsung TV devices, which Kantar recognises as a statistically representative. Using this data in tandem with Samsung TV Plus - Samsung’s free ad-supported streamed TV (FAST) service with millions of users in the UK - empowered Royal Caribbean to refine its targeting to engage both light linear and streaming-only viewers.

Running a tight ship

Royal Caribbean wanted its brand to be top-of-mind for consumers when booking their first post-pandemic holiday. Its ‘Rise to the Cruise’ ad put the spotlight on exciting experiences such as pool plunging, exotic foods and snow trekking. Using this content to promote the thrill of adventure, rather than focussing on the cruise liner itself, enabled Royal Caribbean to target its primary audience of active singles and couples as well as younger families.

Samsung Ads is uniquely positioned to measure ‘glass level’ TV viewership across different viewing environments. Utilising proprietary Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology enabled Samsung Ads to see that Royal Caribbean’s original linear campaign reached 96% of heavy linear viewers on Samsung TVs (those watching an average of 148 hours of linear content per month).

However, the linear ad reached less than 20% of the light linear TV viewers and did not reach streaming-only audiences at all. And with the latter demographic accounting for 22% of the UK’s Samsung TV universe, there was considerable potential to gain incremental audience gains for Royal Caribbean. Factor in Samsung TV Plus’ predominantly younger audience (18-34 year olds over-index by 115 points against the UK average on this platform) and the fact that more than a third of its audience is households with children, this was a valuable untapped market.

Plenty more fish in the CTV sea

Samsung Ads ran Royal Caribbean’s original video campaign on Samsung TV Plus - Samsung’s free ad supported streaming platform (FAST). This allowed Royal Caribbean to deliver non-skippable ads in a brand-safe streaming environment, optimising the impact of their campaign amongst hard to reach CTV audiences.

Samsung Ads’ ACR technology pinpointed which Samsung Smart TVs were previously exposed to Royal Caribbean’s ‘Rise to the Cruise’ ad on linear TV. This data was used to create a targeting list of households not exposed in a linear environment, ensuring they were reached across Samsung TV Plus with minimal duplication. Royal Caribbean’s ad was broadcast across a range of Samsung TV Plus channels including Comedy Hub, CNN, Euronews and Baywatch.

Additionally, Samsung Ads leveraged proprietary data to provide Royal Caribbean with more insight into their target audience’s viewership habits - these included the most popular content genres. Samsung Ads also identified the Royal Caribbean audiences that connected gaming consoles to their Samsung Smart TVs. This unlocked new creative opportunities for the cruise provider to optimise their media plan in the future to engage high-value, previously unexplored audiences.

Samsung Ads’ data driven insights unlocked greater efficiency for Royal Caribbean’s CTV campaign, achieving unduplicated incremental reach of 18.6%. The campaign’s total ad reach - 3.4m unique devices - was equivalent to 58% of the active UK TV universe across the campaign’s duration.

Targeted campaign planning, aided by Samsung Ads’ data, meant that only 4% of viewers were exposed to ‘Rise to the Cruise’ ad across both Samsung TV Plus and linear channels. This achieved Royal Caribbean’s goal of improved optimisation whilst avoiding the ad fatigue experienced by viewers exposed to repeated ads. This strategy demonstrated that including CTV in a multi-channel media plan achieves significant incremental reach and complements linear TV campaigns.

Samsung Ads knew the ropes

Consumers’ evolving viewing habits have created a fragmented television landscape. Linear TV remains a valuable weapon in the advertising arsenal - but it is time to explore alternative channels to meet consumers where they are.

Succeeding in a saturated tourism sector was no mean feat. Samsung Ads’ proprietary data and brand-safe CTV environment (Samsung TV Plus) enabled Royal Caribbean to optimise its ad spend whilst simultaneously expanding its targeting capabilities to connect with high-value audiences.