Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an article titled “Tony Awards: Cruise ship spot stirs waters” story.
The Tony Awards aired this past Sunday, June 10. The purpose of these awards is to recognize achievement in Broadway Theater. Two hours into the ceremony that was broadcasted on CBS, actor Harvey Fierstein was on stage with what people thought would be the introduction to the winner of the next category. Instead, Fierstein introduced a promotion for Royal Caribbean International cruises, which offers Broadway shows onboard their ship. According to the article, this commercial segment during the 66th annual Tony awards was “one of the first prominent product integration during a prestigious awards program. The nearly 4-minute cruise segment then segued into a full-fledged commercial, again touting Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis of the Seas’ line.” TV critics and other commentators did not like this promotion and thought it to be a “show stopper.” On the other hand the organizers thought differently: “We thought it worked. They are a sponsor, they paid us to do it, and we felt that it was a good fit for the Tony Awards,” according to Charlotte St. Martin who is the executive director of the Broadway League. “One of our goals is to spread the message about Broadway, and make theater more accessible to people.”
A spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean did not reveal how much the commercial cost. The cruise line was an “official sponsor” of the awards show. According to the article, “viewers are seeing more product integrations than ever. Advertisers want to insert their products into the content of television shows now that digital video recorders, which allow viewers to fast-forward through commercials, are available in nearly 50 million homes. “Royal Caribbean was very excited with this integration that was able to reach a wide audience of people.
The cruise lines sure need some good publicity these days. I am sure they spent millions for this spot on the tony awards, and again fits with the image the cruise lines create of a care free, entertaining vacation, failing to warn of the safety risks and dangers aboard a ship.