Cunard is an iconic cruise brand. However, Cunard’s competitive set goes beyond the cruise category, spanning the wider luxury holiday market (including luxury hotels and beach stays).  

Cunard needed to show people that you can enjoy the perks of a beach holiday and more when you switch decking for decks to sail with them. 

With cruising being seen as one static holiday type, Cunard wanted to showcase what it really means to sail with Cunard: a sophisticated luxury adventure. 


The Brief

We had to transport people to a holiday they were unfamiliar with and get them to picture what their own experience might look like. 

However, this is what the wider luxury holiday category aims for, and following the norm would only see us overlooked in favour of more familiar beach imagery. 

We focused on the power of imagination. That the picture a person paints for themselves is more powerful than the one they see on TV or a billboard. 

What We Did

Whilst we knew memories of a lifetime were made on board, we had to make sure they didn’t stay there. We captured what was distinctive and unforgettable about Cunard: how the experience makes a person feel. 

We devised ‘Soundwaves’, an in-depth series of unrehearsed interviews recorded on Cunard’s ships, which conjured up richer imagery in the imagination than a picture ever could. These were made entirely by the7stars’ in-house creative team: Supernova. 

The stories were distributed across audio platforms including Spotify, Acast and Octave contextually placed within ‘escapism’ content and playlists. 

Cutting through with audio on a visual platform

We edited the Soundwaves stories specifically for social by creating beautiful executions of the audio with subtitles against norm-subverting imagery of the sea, all designed with one aim: drawing people into the dialogue, to entice people to turn their audio on. 

We actively targeted those in-market for a beach holiday and luxury escapes. 

Across the campaign, we wanted people to hear multiple stories to deliver ‘social proof’ to listeners, while also highlighting the diversity of experiences at sea and challenge the perception that all cruises look the same. Each creative was set to a frequency of 3, after which the user got served the next story at the same frequency level.


reach for sound on social assets (vs. a norm of 15% across other Cunard activity).


thruplay rate for sound on social assets (vs. a norm of 2%).

The Results

We captivated our audience, with social assets reaching 75% sound on (vs. a norm of 15% across other Cunard activity). We also had a 69% thruplay rate (vs. a norm of 2%). In core audio formats on Spotify and Acast, the thruplay rate was even higher at 96%. 

We also saw a 2% pts rise in consideration over the 6-month campaign, making Cunard the 2nd most considered cruise brand and the campaign saw 25% uplift of people enquiring about a cruise.