Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has selected Digitas as its global media agency of record, Campaign US has learned.
Digitas will handle global media out of its Atlanta, GA office for the cruise line across the U.S., Europe, Australia, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Brazil. The remit covers both traditional and digital media buying.
Omnicom’s OMD was the incumbent for traditional buying in the U.S., and Dentsu’s 360i was the incumbent for digital media in the region. Neo Media World had the account in Europe.
Comvergence pegs NCL's spending at roughly $67 million, but sources estimate it could be closer to $100 million.
All of the incumbents pitched to retain the account; Digitas was the only non-incumbent to pitch.
“In line with our spirit to push traditional boundaries through innovation, we selected Digitas as the ideal strategic agency partner to enhance and transform our global media and advertising footprint,” said David Herrera, chief consumer sales and marketing officer for Norwegian Cruise Line, in a statement for Campaign US. “Showcasing creatively-fueled thinking paired with data and analytics, and a rooted understanding of global market cultures, we look forward to a vested partnership to grow our business and expand our brand presence worldwide.”
As a result of the pitch, Norwegian Cruise Line consolidated eight agency relationships into Digitas globally, according to sources.
"We're so excited to partner with NCL and leverage our connected approach to bring our full suite of media — from programmatic and strategy to search, video, paid social and data and analysis — to further build on NCL’s momentum of growth in the year ahead," said Liane Nadeau, SVP, head of media investments at Digitas North America, in a statement provided to Campaign US.
Alyse Schwartz, EVP, managing director at Digitas Atlanta, added: “We are thrilled to welcome such a dynamic and innovative new partner to expand our Atlanta office portfolio, and to kick off 2022 with this amazing win.”
Like many cruise lines, Norwegian, headquartered in Miami, FL., has been hit hard by the pandemic. In 2020, NCL had a net loss of $4 billion as revenues decreased 80%, while cruises were docked at port to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
In Q3 2021, NCL saw net losses narrow to roughly $845 million, and revenues increased to $153 million as sailing resumed. But challenges remain for cruises as new coronavirus variants emerge.