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Catalina Cruises


Catalina Cruses was a ferry-service operating between Long Beach, California and Catalina Island. Theirs was primarily a seasonal business, built on shuttling tourists to and from the island during the key Spring and Summer seasons. Secondary revenue was generated from party and business-entertainment charters and winter whale and dolphin watching.

Challenge: The key issue for Catalina was that their primary competitor had a significantly greater share-of-market, built utilizing faster, more modern boats.

Solution: Our brand strategy positioned Catalina Cruises’ ferry service as a more fun way to get to/from the island; substantiated with new music, magic and other entertainment on the round trip “voyage”, not previously offered by any operator. With that brand and creative strategy, our first campaign for Catalina Cruises was to promote whale watching. We developed a direct mail campaign targeting Southern California elementary school teachers interested in providing students with a lesson concerning the environment and marine biology. We created a whale-watching brochure, oversize poster to display in the classroom and a coloring book with “starter” lessons all about whales.

Result: An instant 33% increase in business over the prior year during a non-season selling period.