Editors' pick: Originally published Jan. 30.
Attempts by cruise companies to reach young consumers appears to be working.
Millennials, people born between 1981 and 1997, and the generation X population, born between 1961 and 1981, favor cruise vacations over any other type of getaway, Cruise Lines International Associations (CLIA) said in its January 2017 Cruise Travel Report released Friday.
The report said that 39% of millennials think ocean cruises are the best type of vacation while another 7% praised river cruises. And 44% of gen Xers said ocean cruises top their vacation lists while an additional 8% favor river cruises.
"Younger generations - including Millennials and Generation X - are embracing cruise travel, rating it as a better vacation type than land-based vacations, all-inclusive resorts, tours, vacation house rentals or camping," CLIA said in the report.
Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) , in its move to target teens, partnered with Los Angeles-based teen media company AwesomenessTV - a joint venture of DreamWorks Animation (DWA) , Hearst and Verizon Communications (VZ) - to create YouTube series Royal Crush. The teen drama set on one of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships wrapped up its fourth season in December with the finale garnering 779,121 views as of Monday afternoon.
And Larry Pimentel, CEO for Royal Caribbean's upmarket brand of ships Azamara, speaks directly to young consumers through social media, he said last week in announcing the brand's 13 new land-based programs. The latest culture immersion programs include over-night stays with local families in different countries, opportunities to camp in the depths of the jungle and tickets to major global events like the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Pimentel said the majority of his cruisers are about the age of 50, so they fall into the generation X category. But he added that for shorter excursions, most travelers are millennials.
Meanwhile, cruise companies are not the only ones trying to gain a younger audience.
Mattel (MAT) and Disney's (DIS) ABC teamed up last year to create YouTube series The Toy Box, a Shark Tank-esc competition show in which amateur toy makers face child judges who decide which inventions should be considered by Mattel for a marketing deal. The series airs sometime this year, although it's unclear when.
These gimmicks are not exactly going to move stocks but they help companies secure loyal consumers years down the road, Morningstar equity analyst Jaime Katz told TheStreet in an interview last month.