Royal Caribbean ‘Reporter at Sea’ contest sets sail

The cruise line is helming an international contest to recruit amateur field correspondents as a tie-in to its new ship launch.

Royal Caribbean is flexing its social media muscles for the first time with a contest to recruit ‘special field correspondents’ to report on the pre-inaugural voyage of its newest ship, the Oasis of the Seas.

With online creative by Outthink and contest functionality by Votigo, the recruitment exercise invites wannabe cruise writers from Canada, the US, Germany, Mexico and the UK to submit a 45-second video nominating themselves for the ‘Reporter at Sea’ position. The top 10 videos will be chosen by a panel of judges, and then the finalists will be decided by a public vote on the contest website. The winner, announced Nov. 4, will set sail on the pre-inaugural voyage of the Oasis, Nov. 19 to 22, recording his or her experiences on the ship’s website.

Targeting potential cruisers with an interest in social media, the contest was designed to reach a web-savvy audience the cruise line had previously not tried to engage. Although it isn’t the first time Royal Caribbean has invited the public to participate in a publicity event – the ship was named via a public contest – this is the brand’s first social media contest with a video submission element.

‘Our goal was to find new and exciting ways to engage first time and past cruisers, and also spread the word about the launch of Oasis of the Seas,’ Tracy Quan, Royal Caribbean International brand communications director, tells MiC.

The contest is promoted differently in each country, but common to all is a Facebook page, Twitter feed and the contest site itself. In some countries, the contest has a media partner (USA Today in the US) where some of the winner’s reportage will appear, but there is no equivalent media partner in Canada.