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Carnival’s new SVP marketing is focused on first-timers

Pete Callaro.jpeg
‘The thing I’ve been talking about since day one here — even before that — is the goal of attracting 1 million new cruisers to Carnival,' Pete Callaro said
Pete Callaro, who joined Carnival Cruise Line as SVP brand and product marketing from the Coca-Cola Co., is focused on getting more people to give cruising a try.

‘The topic that drives every conversation’

‘The thing I’ve been talking about since day one here — even before that — is the goal of attracting 1 million new cruisers to Carnival. We have capacity increases coming in the years ahead and always want to sail fully booked. We won’t get there with our current and past guests alone.

'So, how do we get people who may already know us to actually consider Carnival as a vacation option? It’s the topic that drives every conversation I’ve had and even helps prioritizes the meetings I’ve been taking throughout my first couple of months here.’

Callaro was quick to add: ‘At the same time, as I’ve told my team, I have to live by the rule of “do no harm.” We have an amazing business engine. Our conversion to bookings is incredible. I honestly think we have a Harvard business case study in these halls. So my focus is to elevate the brand and find the next generation of cruisers but “do no harm” to what we are already great at.’

‘Choose Fun’ is evolving

The ‘Choose Fun’ branding campaign that launched for wave season 2018 and is prominent in everything from Carnival’s ‘Choose Fun’ AirShip to the ‘Choose Fun’ WaterWorks on the new Carnival Panorama, is evolving, Callaro said.

‘At the end of December, we’ll get a taste of it. The evolution is going to “hero” the type of person who likes to have fun. Everyone has a “fun one” in their life, someone they love to be around or want to be like. Carnival is an experience that brings out the fun ones in all of us,” he said.

Sixteen years of Coke

Callaro spent nearly 16 years at the Coca-Cola Co. before joining Carnival in mid-September.

'My time at Coke was amazing, but I was ready for a change,' he said. 'I just didn’t realize how complex [the cruise] business is. At Coke, the business was simple — we made soda water, put it in cans and sprinkled marketing on top. The challenge is exactly what I asked for. It will take some time for me to really have a grasp of it.'

At Coca-Cola, Callaro held several marketing leadership positions of increasing responsibility. They included shaping data-driven marketing capabilities across the company’s global business units, building and leading Coca-Cola USA's internal social agency and leading integrated marketing communications.

Agency experience

Callaro also has strong agency experience. He co-founded Submarine, a startup boutique firm dedicated to fusing advertising, interactive and branded entertainment. Before that, he spent nearly nine years with TBWA\Chiat\Day, where he played a part in marketing Absolut Vodka.

At Carnival, he reports to Ken Tate, EVP and chief commercial officer.