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Carnival Corp. sees results from significantly higher marketing spend

Carnival Cruise Line was among the Carnival Corp. brands reporting record bookings in November — in CCL's case, for Cyber Monday
Carnival Corp. & plc continues a 'significant step up' in advertising which paid dividends during November with record bookings for some brands.

This started a strong momentum for wave season, CEO Josh Weinstein said Wednesday.

The increased spending includes a nearly 20% hike over the last quarter, versus 2019, to 'elevate awareness and consideration and to drive demand for both the near and the longer term.

New-to-cruise about one-third of bookings

'This should be particularly impactful for those new-to-cruise guests, about one-third [of bookings],' Weinstein continued, 'as we position to take share from land-based alternatives and capitalize on the 25% to 50% value gap to land-based alternatives that should not exist.'

First quarter 2023 includes more than a 30% increase in advertising spending to further accelerate demand, according to CFO David Bernstein. After inflation, advertising spending is the second driver of higher Q1 costs and expected to add 1% to 2% cost per available lower berth day.

Closely tracked metrics

Bernstein said Carnival closely tracks advertising metrics including awareness, consideration, lead generation and conversion.

He reported an 8% increase in new-to-brand consumers in 2023. He said bookings are split about 50-50 between brand loyalists and new-to-brand. Until people cruise, though, the company won't know which percentage of the new-to-brand are also new-to-cruise.

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