Celebrity Cruises has launched a new advertising campaign to promote all-inclusive cruising, but it’s not what many travelers may think. While the luxury cruise line is known for its all-included amenities, this campaign focuses not on the features of a cruise ship or packages available for purchase, but on travelers themselves to illustrate that cruising is the ideal vacation getaway for everyone.
The All-Inclusive Photo Project
Celebrity Cruises is spearheading the project to update and diversify travel advertising. Named “The All-Inclusive Photo Project,” the campaign recognizes the need to improve the representation of all people who travel in marketing materials. Well-known and respected photographers are part of the project, creating the world’s first free to use, ‘open source’ travel image library.
The stunning new images feature the work of acclaimed photographers such as: renowned portraitist Annie Leibovitz; Giles Duley, an English documentary photographer and a triple amputee; Naima Green, a Black, queer New York-based photographer; and Jarrad Seng, an Australia-based photographer, filmmaker and creative director of Malaysian-Chinese descent.
The collection features models, musicians, athletes, artists, activists, refugees, and more. These individuals are all at the forefront of diversity from underrepresented groups, and the new marketing photos show them enjoying the diversity of Celebrity’s ships and destinations the cruise line visits.
“For far too long, ‘all-inclusive’ in the travel industry has meant everything on your vacation is included in one price. We set out to challenge this conventional thinking by imagining the phrase through the lens of others,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
“We want our marketing – as with everything we do as a cruise line – to represent how the world looks, and what we experience on our ships daily, as guests and crew from all walks of life work and play together to create a really special onboard environment,” said Lutoff-Perlo.
Researching Travel Marketing
During the pandemic shutdown, when travel industry marketing was at a virtual standstill, Celebrity Cruises reexamined its own marketing materials.
A statement published on the project’s homepage explains: “Last year, we asked thousands of people in the U.S., UK, and Australia what they thought about travel marketing and nearly two thirds (63%) felt the travel industry has a responsibility to showcase more diversity within their imagery, with this being felt most strongly by those from the Black community (74%), the LGBTQ+ community (73%) and those with a disability (73%). The group seen as most underrepresented within the travel industry are those with physical disabilities (62%).”
Project participants include individuals who have represented diversity and inclusiveness in their respective areas for years. Among the models for the All-Inclusive Photo Project are:
- Jillian Mercado, a professional fashion model with muscular dystrophy, enjoying a new culinary experience on a Celebrity ship.
- John Forté, a Black recording hip-hop artist who now works with at-risk youth, making memories with his family on their first cruise.
- Abby Chava Stein, the first openly transgender woman raised in an Hasidic community, basking in the sun on the Resort Deck of a Celebrity ship.
- Ester Onek, a social worker, advocate, and refugee from the South Sudan, enjoying the beaches of Margaret River in western Australia.
“What Annie and all of the talented artists involved in this project have captured so beautifully, is that for vacations to really live up to the marketing moniker ‘all-inclusive,’ then they should start by using images that are inclusive of all, not just a few,” said Lutoff-Perlo.
Over 90 images are currently part of the library, all of which are royalty-free for use. Each image includes a detailed description of the model as well as the location. Celebrity Cruises hopes the availability of these resources will encourage more diversity and inclusivity in travel industry marketing, and plans to continue growing the library with additional images.
“As global brands, we have a powerful platform to act as a catalyst of positive change. We know we have more work to do and we hope we inspire others to join us on this important journey. By leveraging our collective travel industry might, we can begin to make travel marketing truly ‘all-inclusive,” said Michael Scheiner, Celebrity Cruises’ Chief Marketing Officer.
Celebrity Cruises plans to launch the advertising campaign in early April.