Better late than never

The Chisholm-Mingo Group sails Royal Caribbean into the future

After almost tripling their money spent on cruises from 1997 topresent, African Americans are finally getting noticed by the travel industry. First in line to reap some of the benefits from this newfound attention, is the Chisholm-Mingo Group Inc., (No. 4 on the be advertising agencies list). The New York-based advertising agency expects to increase current revenues of $100 million by 20% next year, through its recent alliance with Royal Caribbean International. In April, Royal Caribbean contracted the Mingo Group to help them break into the $4.3 billion African American-travel market.

According to Royal Caribbean, the agency will be responsible for strategic planning, creative media planning, promotions, and other services to support the expansion of Royal Caribbean’s multicultural marketing efforts.

Samuel Chisholm, chairman & CEO, of the Chisholm-Mingo Group, is excited about adding this segment of the industry to their roster of travel accounts, and exposing his new clients to the highly sought after African American consumer.

“Revenue aside, this partnership will continue to represent a way [in which] we can demonstrate our capabilities,” said Chisholm. “We approach the market differently from any of our competitors, in that we know how to segment this market into six distinct groups. Then we know who we are talking to and how to talk to them.”

Ken Smikle, president, Target Market News, explains that this account is significant because the leisure, travel, and entertainment industries have been the last to recognize how important black consumer dollars have become. “Black income has grown at an unprecedented rate, and industries are capitalizing on that with aggressive marketing strategies,” said Smikle. “The cruise liner industry has just begun to take advantage of this.”

According to Target Market News, the travel industry is divided into 16 industries. In three of those industries-cruise liners, airlines, and hotels-African Americans have consistently spent more than $2.1 billion annually since 1997.

Royal Caribbean selected the 100% minority-owned marketing communications agency because “they really knew the market that we are trying to attract; they have a clear understanding of our overall strategy; plus, the chemistry is there to build a strong client-agency partnership,” said Tessa K. Strachan, marketing account executive of multicultural and emerging markets, Royal Caribbean.

DOLLARS SPENT BY AFRICAN AMERICANS ON TRAVEL INDUSTRY

MARKET

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Cruiseliners 104 million 132 million 108 million 43 million 103 million 112 million
Airlines 1.26 billion 1.05 billion 1.71 billion 1.05 billion 1.45 billion 1.28 billion
Hotel 116 million 746 million 1.02 billion 1.07 billion 1.02 billion 1.00 billion
TOTAL 1.480 billion 1.928 billion 2.838 billion 2.163 billion 2.573 billion 2.392 billion
SOURCE: Target Market News
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