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#HelloArvia – a dazzling social campaign for P&O Cruises


For the naming ceremony of their new ‘sunshine ship’ Arvia, P&O Cruises organised a star-studded event in Barbados.

Forget traditional dockside ceremonies in Southampton. For this event, we had some extraordinary elements to work with, including: a YouTube livestream with Arvia’s godmother, American singer-songwriter Nicole Scherzinger; a party on ship and on shore, hosted by DJs and presenters Trevor Nelson and Sara Cox; live sets by pop star Olly Murs; and beautiful Caribbean blue skies, sparkling seas, sunshine and white-sand beaches.

Our superstar social team sprang into action, breaking the campaign down into three key phases (countdown, event and post-event) with ‘driving excitement and engagement’ at the heart of each stage.

A catchy hashtag hook was devised to unite the campaign and create a distinctive look for all posts and endframes. With passports at the ready, #HelloArvia was ready for take-off.


From the get-go, we needed loyal guests to buy into P&O Cruises’ bold break with tradition (an American godmother and a naming ceremony not in the UK), and we needed to engage new audiences by leveraging the A-list talent.

Teaser posts revealed what talent would make an appearance at the event, while a prize draw, the bottle-smash partner reveal, and details of the event’s location built up the story. A series of intriguing posts for Arvia’s godmother reveal kept audiences guessing. With the ultimate goal of getting live views, we encouraged people to ‘click the notification bell’ for a reminder to tune in to the live event.

On the day of the event there was also a mini countdown. We took advantage of Instagram’s countdown feature, posted talent content featuring ‘today’s the day’ messaging and, 20 minutes before the event started, we heightened anticipation further with a ‘we’re about to go live’ post and a pulse-raising YouTube countdown video aired while viewers were waiting for the live stream to start.

Live event

Sunday’s Social Media Manager Ellie Bancroft was our social stormtrooper on location. Before and during the event, she holed up in our ‘production village’ on Heywoods Beach, supported virtually by the London-based team.

All copy, scheduling and reporting had to align with PR, the talent and news outlets (who were releasing information at the same time in a coordinated campaign). In-situ engagement monitoring ensured sentiment remained positive.

Given the nature of the live event, we had to be agile and reactive. When Nicole Scherzinger’s flight was delayed, best-laid plans were reworked. When Olly Murs jumped in the pool, it captured the spirit of the day – this post received the highest engagement rate during the naming ceremony on Facebook (9.35%).

Post event

Immediately after the live event, we built on the buzz by posting a highlights video and a video of Olly Murs jumping in the pool – each post with a call to action to drive on-demand views on YouTube.

And then we turned to reporting and insight… 109 individual posts were created across the campaign (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). The results are impressive, and smashed all targets:

  • 5m total unique reach
  • 59.1k live views on the night and more than 203k to date
  • Trending #2 on YouTube (UK) – the naming ceremony, the day after the event
  • 542,441 accounts reached organically on the day on Facebook and Instagram
  • 3.9m reached across Facebook and Instagram for all Arvia posts
  • 3m total impressions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

“Arvia’s naming ceremony was an incredible experience. From content brainstorms and planning to scheduling and execution, it was an intensive and high-pressured project. Once in Barbados, it became very real that all our upfront hard work and meticulous planning had paid off. Seeing our look and feel come to life across social (especially YouTube’s trending list) and seeing #HelloArvia being used by Nicole Scherzinger and Olly Murs made the scale of this project a reality – as did watching the event set-up being built in front of me. From start to finish, I’m super proud of the work and success that Team Sunday achieved in London and Barbados. And if we ever need to work from the Caribbean again, I’m happy to take another one for team!”

Ellie Bancroft, Social Media Manager

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