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How Princess Cruises Improves Traveler Engagement with UGC

Cruiseship at dusk
Have you ever boarded a cruise ship and noticed all the incredible artwork and photography that graces its staircases, hallways, and cabins? 
Instead of the traditional way cruise lines source artwork and photography, Princess Cruises took a more innovative approach. They’re using user-generated content (UGC) to increase brand awareness, build traveler engagement and bring their marketing to life. 

And they’re not just using UGC online — it’s now on-board the newest ship in its fleet.

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“Sea to Sky Princess” Photo Contest

In its "Sea to Sky Princess" Destination-Inspired Photo Contest, which launched last fall, Princess Cruises used CrowdRiff to manage more than 13,000 photo submissions, selecting 1,000 winners and one grand prize winner.

Guests submitted their favorite photos from visits to 380 ports and scenic attractions across seven continents. The marketing team at Princess Cruises could have just published the collection of photos online, but they took it a step further. They chose the best of those submissions and placed them on board the Sky Princess.

One thousand images were chosen, framed, and are now on display throughout staterooms and corridors of the Sky Princess. Of course, there was also one grand prize entry that saw the winning photographer sail away on a seven-day cruise aboard the new ship.

It’s one thing to see the photos you’ve taken shared online, it’s another to see them printed, framed and hanging on display — which is exactly what happened to many passengers of the Sky Princess. The ship had its maiden voyage in October and will be sailing a series of Mediterranean cruises, followed by a season of Caribbean cruises out of Ft. Lauderdale.

#OceanMedallion Photo Campaign

Princess Cruises is not only using UGC in the physical world, but they’re also using UGC in the digital sphere. One of the first campaigns that Princess Cruises ran (and continues to run) using CrowdRiff was its “#oceanmedallion Moments from Our Guests” initiative. 
Cruise guests share their favorite moments from their MedallionClass vacations and use the hashtag #oceanmedallion on social media for a chance to have their photo featured by Princess Cruises.
Not only has this campaign helped engaged passengers, but it’s also helped the marketing team source authentic vacation photos aboard Princess Cruises, which they can use in future campaigns, brochures, magazines, their social platforms, and on their website. Using CrowdRiff, the broader global marketing team at Princess Cruises can also access these visuals and deploy them to engage passengers in other areas.

Using CrowdRiff’s DAM to Store 20,000 Images (And Counting)

Around 70% of the imagery that Princess Cruises share on their social platforms is repurposed UGC. They use photos of people who are passengers on its cruise ships, as well as photos of people exploring the destinations they visit. The marketing team at Princess Cruises knows it’s a great way to build brand awareness with people that may not know about all their ports of call.

But with so many visuals at hand, it can be easy to lose track of all the photos at hand.

With over 20,000 images (and growing) now at its disposal, Princess Cruises uses CrowdRiff’s digital asset manager (DAM) to keep all their visuals organized. Finding photos is now as easy as doing a Google search. 

Like other customers, Princess Cruises also benefits from artificial intelligence (AI) built into CrowdRiff, which works in the background to surface more high-quality visuals that work best for its brand.

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About the author

Julia Manoukian is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at CrowdRiff. A former journalist, she has helped several Toronto startups raise their thought leadership profiles and scale their content efforts to influence revenue. She's passionate about storytelling, traveling, and tech.

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