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Hitting the content trail in Barcelona


How to do justice to P&O Cruises' new Local Food Hero, Spanish chef José Pizarro? By going on a sumptuous foodie tour with him through Barcelona to bring his story to life.

José Pizarro knows every tapas spot and restaurateur in Barcelona. At least that’s how it feels as the renowned Spanish chef and P&O Cruises Local Food Hero takes us on a foodie tour of the Catalan capital.

We pinball from hole-in-the-wall eateries, traditional tapas bars and modern dining rooms to markets groaning with fresh produce, with José setting the pace. Stroll, eat, drink, repeat goes the day; what an incredible way to see the city…

P&O Cruises briefed us to introduce guests and the wider business to José, the brand’s Local Food Hero. To showcase his personality, knowledge and passion, we planned a mini-campaign based around assets gathered on a multiple-location shoot in Barcelona.

For the brand, website and CRM teams, we created high-production photography and longer-form video to inform loyal guests; for social channels, we captured a series of short videos to play out on Facebook, Instagram Stories and Twitter to appeal to existing guests and prospects. While on location, we also shot a portfolio of beautiful evergreen destination images for all teams to use – from the website to travel agent comms.

We chose Barcelona for two reasons: José’s knowledge of the city’s foodie scene and because Iona, P&O Cruises’ newest ship, stops there overnight on Spain and Portugal cruises – something research told us would appeal to prospects.

Connecting with a team of local fixers and José’s restaurant contacts, we were able to show an authentic side of the city, revealing Barcelona through the lens of a local. Another tick for people considering a cruise who like to explore off the beaten track.

Navigating a mask-wearing public and the busiest food market in Europe were some of the challenges faced – and when the heavens opened on day three, the schedule had to be rearranged at short notice. Nevertheless, we came away with a fabulous suite of content that played out across brand comms, on the website, in email newsletters and on social channels.

The experience was also recalled in our cover story for issue 13 of Moments, the travel magazine we create for the brand’s loyal customers. Taking inspiration from Gaudí’s mosaics, we used 96 of our photos to create a striking wraparound cover.

This multichannel campaign was a success on several levels. It effectively introduced internal teams, existing guests and prospects to José and immersed them in the benefits of the new partnership. It also allowed us to bank beautiful video and photography of a commercially important overnight destination for immediate and long-term use.

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