It wasn’t Carnival Cruise Line.
Instead, it was a teen in Prospect, Va., who had been on four cruises and named his Snapchat after his favourite brand in 2012 when he was 9 years old.
Needless to say, the social media handle @CarnivalCruise was of some value to Miami-based Carnival. But what would entice Darian Lipscomb, now 16, to part with the name?
Carnival put on a full-court press, using its latest promotional tool, chief fun officer Shaquille O’Neal, on billboards and a mobile advertising truck, which it dispatched to Prospect.
“Hey Prospect, Does Anyone Know Darian?” said the mobile ads, listing Shaq’s own social media handle as the place to respond.
Knowing that Darian likes to cruise, Carnival dangled the possibility of a sailing on the new Carnival Horizon in exchange for the Snapchat rights to @CarnivalCruise.
The day after the billboards hit the street, Carnival surprised Lipscomb in person at his home, to officially extend the invitation for him and his family to sail aboard the Carnival Horizon.
Carnival has the @CarnivalCruise handle in time to use it to promote the Horizon’s debut next month in the Mediterranean.
And Lipscomb will depart for Barcelona on March 31 for his first cruise in Europe. Carnival plans to make him the first passenger to board the cruise and promises surprises for the Lipscomb family throughout the voyage.