MIAMI – Saturday mornings are going to Carnival Corp.
The cruising giant is breaking new ground in the cruise industry with the production of three travel-related TV shows set to appear on major networks on Saturdays starting Oct. 1.
The cruise company, headquartered outside Miami, announced the programming Monday — scheduled to air on ABC, NBC and the CW — designed to introduce more travelers to the possibility of a cruise vacation.
Each lifestyle series sets out to capture a different aspect of the cruising experience. "Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin" will take viewers adventure-hunting around the world with the Emmy-winning host. "The Voyager with Josh Garcia" will focus on authentic local experiences with the video journalist. "Vacation Creation" will feature comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube star Andrea Feczko as they try to create memorable vacations for deserving families, individuals or couples.
Using TV or visual media to market content is not new across industries (Procter & Gamble created soap operas to showcase their products, for instance), but it has become a growing trend, said Sam Slaughter, vice president of content at Contently, a New York-based content marketing technology company.
"[Producing TV shows] tends to be less expensive and it tends to yield higher returns. You are just paying for the production as opposed to paying to reach the audience [like with a commercial]," Slaughter said. "The idea that brands can do that kind of thing is starting to gain more traction … and the travel industry is ripe for this."
In the past, cruise ships have been featured in documentaries and scripted television shows, such as "The Love Boat," but Carnival Corp.'s approach is novel, said Colleen McDaniel, senior executive editor of trade publication CruiseCritic.com.
"Taking a reality television approach to showcasing cruise travel is something that is unprecedented," McDaniel said.