Starting October 1st Carnival will debut new Saturday morning original content aimed to educate 13-16 year old viewers on new travel destinations and experiences, while of course keeping cruising in mind.
Three shows, totaling 80 episodes will be airing on three different networks in slots previously dominated by cartoons. "Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin" will be featured on ABC, "The Voyager with Josh Garcia" on NBC, and "Vacation Creation" on the CW network. They'll feature ships from all 10 Carnival brands and focus on what the "cruise guest experience is", according to John Padgett, Carnival's Chief Experience and Innovation Officer (yes, that's his title). "This is true, valuable, entertaining and engaging content", Padgett said. He also notes that these are not infomercials, and won't be noted as sponsored content, but that Carnival-brand ships will appear in ways different than typically seen in product placement. The slots will also feature 30 second Carnival ads.
It seems this could be an interesting take on television that has become increasingly focused on "reality" that isn't very real. If the content can really help teach teens, or anyone at all, about new experiences, destinations, and cultures, there is certainly value in that. Capitalizing on that value, in my opinion, is a pretty smart move where Carnival could get to play the good guy while providing direct and indirect correlations with it's brands. NCL tried this last year with "Dream Quest with Evette Rios", but hasn't yet renewed the program. So how can Carnival pull this off while promoting their brands more than just cruising in general? Will viewers really remember the ships and experiences or offerings unique to Carnival, Princess, Cunard, etc? It's hard to say but as the dominant player in the cruise industry perhaps they'd still see value in promoting cruising overall, knowing they'd tend to get the biggest piece of the pie.
Will you be tuning in? Share your thoughts in the comments below!