MIAMI: Royal Caribbean-owned Azamara Club Cruises has brought on Current Lifestyle Marketing as its first AOR in North America as part of its new global agency roster.
The brand, which officially hired Current in mid-June, evaluated a dozen firms for the North American business before making a decision, said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara.
"We’ve created a unique deliverable that is decidedly different than the sector, and the product has grown tremendously, so we felt we needed an absolute awareness of the [brand’s] unique selling proposition," he explained.
In addition to hiring Current for North America, Azamara selected Nylon Communications in London and The D’Arcy Partnership in Australia.
With a focus on building brand awareness, Azamara is "putting more effort into the PR side than in advertising," explained Pimentel.
"We always thought the editorial ink is simply more powerful than the paid ink, and we felt that [Current] could do a good job in connecting with writers both on the consumer side and trade side," he added.
Current stood out among its competition in the pitch because of its consumer expertise, strategic thinking, and understanding of the brand, said Pimentel. He added that the firm’s team also had chemistry with Azamara’s PR practitioners.
The agency’s New York office is leading account work under the management of SVP and travel practice leader Sara Joseph with the goal of promoting Azamara’s destination-immersion offerings.
Pimentel said the brand is unique because it provides passengers with longer stays, more overnights, and night tours to "get a bespoke flavor" of the region, such as a visit to a balsamic vinegar factory near the port of Livorno, Italy.
In addition to earned media, Current will consult with Azamara on social media.
"There are a lot of PR firms that have a lot of specialties, and there are a lot of great firms in this country, but at the end of the day, it’s about people, [and] the intellectual capital and the people at Current were as much of an attraction as anything," said Pimentel.
He declined to disclose budget information, but said the contract with Current will run for one year.