Bumper Ads Boost Searches for P&O Cruises on YouTube by 30%

February 2018

P&O Cruises, which already operates eight cruise ships across the world and will welcome another two vessels in 2020 and 2022, is the biggest cruise operator in the UK. One of the company’s primary marketing objectives is to reach new audiences and encourage newcomers to cruise with P&O Cruises by showcasing all that a cruise holiday has to offer: amazing destinations, onboard entertainment and fantastic dining experiences. The P&O Cruises digital marketing team focuses on both brand and demand, measured by upper-funnel metrics (cost per view, number of views and brand lift) and conversion metrics (bookings and cost per conversion).

About P&O Cruises

Largest cruise operator in the UK

Based in Southampton, UK

Sails across six continents, 74 countries and more than 250 ports worldwide


Create consideration to cruise among broader travel audience

Leverage offline creative assets to build new online campaigns


Created YouTube six-second Bumper Ad from campaign TV ad


Campaign produced 30% uplift in searches for P&O Cruises on YouTube

P&O Cruises partnered with Google with an aim to reach new audiences to the brand and to cruising. For a duration of two weeks, they ran a six-second Bumper Ad test with YouTube, targeting online audiences on Google’s video platform.

“The role of YouTube was to complement the activity and reach of our other upper-funnel channels such as TV by targeting a digital-savvy travel audience”, explains James Lee, Senior Digital Marketing Manager. “We specifically wanted to test the six-second Bumper Ad format and run a Brand Lift survey off the back of the campaign to understand whether our creative was resonating well with our audiences online.”

In collaboration with P&O Cruises’ creative agency, Founded, part of the Iris network, a six-second Bumper Ad was created as an extension of the 30-second TV commercial. The Bumper Ad opened with a shot of the iconic Oceana ship, showcased Mediterranean destinations, and then ended with the price of a cruise to highlight the full value offered in cruising with P&O Cruises. The ad was then distributed via DoubleClick Bid Manager by P&O Cruises’ media agency, PHD, and they leveraged Google data, affinity segments and in-market audiences in their targeting.

The post-campaign analysis via a Brand Lift study showed that the Bumper Ad drove a 30% uplift in YouTube searches. According to Amy Meredith, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, clear objectives and strong media planning were critical in achieving these outcomes, while the free YouTube Brand Lift surveys played a vital role in helping the team to optimise the activity over time. “The campaign was successful thanks to great collaboration across the board. P&O Cruises worked closely with media agency PHD, creative agency Founded and Google to ensure that the campaign was built for success right from the outset.” Looking ahead, P&O Cruises plans to run further YouTube Bumper Ad campaigns with Google throughout the year.

How BT put brand safety and suitability first — and doubled its reach