PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line exhibit at the Miami Children’s Museum. (photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)
Carnival Cruise Line and the Miami Children’s Museum recently revealed a remodeled section of the facility’s cruise ship-themed exhibit.
It primarily serves to enrich and educate kids, but it’s also brilliant for marketing to them at a young age.
The downtown Miami museum’s new Upper Deck includes a variety of interactive features such as a Navigational Control Station model, Destination Wall with Carnival ports of call, Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading zone, LEGO table for building a ship and a 32-foot-long I-Wall for a view of different ship areas.
Modeled after the ones onboard the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista, Dr. Seuss Bookville encourages reading among families, while LEGO develops young minds by encouraging an interest in international travel and global locales.
Of course, it does all of these things while also exposing children to the Carnival brand and future careers. As a kid, the Navigational Control Station would have gotten me to thinking about a job in the cruise industry.
Just as it’s a good idea for cruise lines to consider letting kids sail for free to build loyalty early on, exhibits like this suggest excitement for a cruise vacation onboard a specific company.
The cruise line fosters future cruise consumers and crew members simultaneously. It’s a win-win.
It’s the kind of brand awareness that Disney manages to get early on among youth thanks to a widespread presence in everything from household items to theme parks. In Carnival’s case, it’s more difficult to reach children outside of the ocean, but Miami, Florida is the company’s home turf where such shoreside sponsorship opportunities abound.
If anything, the question is: What more could the cruise line do to broaden its brand exposure? Temporary pop-up events showcase other aspects of the cruise line from time to time. But could any other venues outside of kids facilities be positioned more permanently?
What about a Guy’s Burger Joint or BlueIguana Cantina eatery? Or would an always-available restaurant take away from the exclusive appeal of only being able to partake in these foods at sea?
The same questions could be asked for a SkyRide installation at the company’s headquarters. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s also a marketing strategy perhaps worth considering.
At the very least, occasional food trucks might prove a good idea as corporate cousin Holland America Line featured one for charity. Its Dive-In at the Terrace Grill fare was previously available at the Seatrade Cruise Global convention in Miami and was quite the success.
For now, the Miami Children’s Museum is a land-based means of discovering the Carnival Cruise Line experience year-round. Carnival’s permanent exhibit is one of 14 galleries in the 56,000-square-foot space where the company has supported the museum for nearly 15 years. In fact, the partnership predates the current location back to 1983.
The facility can be found at 980 MacArthur Causeway in Miami. The exhibit is included with regular admission which costs $20 for adults and children, $15 for Florida Residents and free for kids under one year and MCM Members.
For more information, call 305-373-KIDS (5437) or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.