How Cruise Advertising Has Changed

The image below comes from a 1979-80  Fred Olsen “Cruise this Winter” brochure. (I just love that font and the orange background).

Now Olsen’s images  are clearly real ‘Fred Olsen’ customers,  giving their opinions.  No disrespect to the people featured, but they certainly do not have ‘model’ looks, and why should they.  These vintage Olsen’s images  could not be more different from NCL’s ‘ ‘Beautiful people’ (below), which are from a modern cruise brochure.

Girls and Boys from NCL Publicity (Epic)

I am fairly confident that in this modern media-driven world, no cruise brochure would now carry images like Olsen’s ‘real people’. In fact images of models are now often  featured on the decks and public rooms, in most cruise brochures, rather then real passengers . Have you noticed that there is never anybody overweight, bald, or disabled, for example!

 As you can see the recent image above is quite different from the 79-80 one.  Even when the people (models)  in the images are mature, they are slim, fit and defying their years.  Maybe the sea air just keeps them young? 

 The picture above appeared in the 2004 ‘Ocean Village’ brochure.  As they say, “sex sells” (even cruises).  I don’t think anybody since has tried to ‘sex-up’ cruising so blatantly since, unless I’ve missed it. 

However  I did find another example of a ‘sexy’ cruise advert, in addition to the ‘Ocean Village’ one.  Here it is, although I’m not sure which ship/line it represents:

“Excuse me madam, you are blocking the sun”!

It is pretty clear that in the modern world ‘image’ is everything and ‘sex’ still sells!

Malcolm Oliver

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