A disorientated Owen Wilson stars in bizarre new ‘Cruiselings’ campaign for P&O

Hollywood actor Owen Wilson continually wakes up disorientated and confused in a series of bizarre online videos to promote cruise line P&O’s new ships.

The Conspicuous Awakening of Owen Wilson is a series of three short films created by BMF for the cruise line, plays on the previous idea of ‘The Cruiselings’ with each film featuring Wilson waking from sleep disoriented and confused and lying on a woman’s lap.

Each time the ‘cruiseling’ calmly explains where he is and assuages his concerns about being on another planet. The campaign launches the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, two new cruise ships joining the P&O fleet in November.

In ‘Part One: The Earthling.’ Wilson wakes in the Blue Room, a small bar with live music on the new P&O cruise ships. He introduces himself to the mysterious Australian woman and wonders if he has died. He asks: “Am I on Earth?” to which the woman replies: “Not so much.” He sits up from a plush lounge and declares he needs a drink and finds one waiting for him, delivered by another woman.

In the second instalment of the story, ‘Part Two: Losing it,’ Wilson wakes while lying on a woman’s lap as they float on an inflatable in a pool. This video promotes the ship’s retractable roof and the luxurious deck. Wilson asks the mystery woman: “What are you on?” to which she replies: “A ship.” Wilson also suffers a flashback that implies all will be revealed in the final video, released on September 16.

The ‘Cruiselings’ message used in their previous campaign is revisited in the second video, as the on screen text ‘Discover the new habitats of the Cruiselings’ introduces the new ships, Aria and Eden. The P&O logo is accompanied by the tagline “Like no place on Earth.”

BMF managing director, Steve McArdle said: “P&O Cruises briefed us to develop something that had real scale and social currency. Bringing together the ‘Be Free Earthlings’ idea and one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, felt like a pretty good place to start.”

BMF executive creative director Cam Blackley added: “This is a client that is not only redefining what a cruise ship looks like but also how they communicate to their target audience. It was a privilege for us to write a piece like this and to do the onboard vibe as much justice as the new fit-outs.”

The campaign videos are a nod to the Bill Murray film of 2004, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, in which Wilson stars. All three clips are housed online at the microsite au, which encourages browsers to explore the new ships with a virtual tour and watch an exclusive behind the scenes interview with Wilson. The three videos are accompanied with a digital, social, content and PR push.

Danielle Sen


Creative Agency: BMF

PR Agency: Frank PR

Media Agency: MediaCom

Executive Creative Director: Cam Blackley

Art Director: Nicole Hetherington

Copywriters: Simon Fowler, Jonty Bell, Cam Blackley

Head of Design: Lincoln Grice

Planning Director: Hugh Munro

Planner: Sarah Hood

Group Account Director: Kura Tyerman

Account Director: Will Woods

Account Manager: Meg Mabin

Agency Producer: Jenny Lee-Archer

Director: Tom Dey

Production Company EP: Sean Blair

Producer: Alejandra Quesada

Production Company: Native Content

Post Production: The Editors

Editors: Bernard Garry and Laurence Van Camp

Sound and Music: Rumble Studios

DoP: Eduard Grau

Client Credits:

P&O Cruises – Senior Vice President: Sture Myrmell

P&O Cruises – Head of Marketing and Distribution: Simon Cheng

P&O Cruises – Head of Consumer Marketing: Melissa Grech

P&O Cruises – Manager – Brand & Marketing Communications: Nicola Wyllie


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