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Cruise Line Links Music, Marketing

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. of Santa Clarita has set sail on its newest marketing campaign, but this time it’s promoting an album that features music from its onboard show “Magic to Do.” The album is the first of its kind by a cruise company and highlights a memorable experience patrons have while at sea – a magic show by illusionist Jim Steinmeyer accompanied by music from Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz. “‘Magic to Do’ has been extremely popular with our guests,” said Adrian Fischer, vice president of entertainment for Princess. “As a cruise line, we are always looking to innovate, especially in areas that we know are important to our guests such as entertainment.” The company announced the collaboration with Schwartz — who wrote the music for Broadway plays such as “Wicked” and “Pippin” — early last year. Promoting the show as the first of four, “Magic to Do” features a song by Schwartz titled “A Little Magic” which was composed exclusively for Princess. The musical debuted in October 2015 aboard the Crown Princess, and to keep the momentum going, the cruise line released a documentary chronicling its making, bringing fresh attention to one of its novel guest experiences. Now a year after the curtain raised, Princess in partnership with Pasadena-based DMI Soundtracks released the accompanying cast album of the show. For the cruise line, the album creates a new revenue stream while reminding passengers of their experience on the ship. Laura Mecoy, president of public relations firm Mecoy Communications in Manhattan Beach, believes this is an innovative approach to promote the core business. “Content is king: We hear this repeatedly in marketing and public relations today,” she said. “An album is another form of content that the cruise line can use to communicate to music lovers that this is a cruise they’ll want to take. It’s advertising that has the added value of giving the consumers something they want – a musical recording.” Mecoy also said the album is most likely cheaper than an ad campaign. It also prompts conversation through broadcast, print and social media, as it is something new and different. Its release comes right before the debut of Princess’ second show “Born to Dance,” a musical featuring songs and choreography celebrating Broadway. The show will begin aboard the Star Princess this month and will travel to other ships in November and February. Remaining productions are slated for opening across the fleet during the next several years. With the potential to produce documentaries, albums and other cross-promotional content related to the shows, Princess could keep the marketing magic alive for years. – Stephanie Henkel

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