Before Royal Caribbean lost its mind and created the ‘Nation of Why Not" (which seems like a rip-off of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman’s "What Me Worry?"), the cruise line used a snappy song called "Lust for Life" as part of its Get Out There! marketing campaign.

You remember the video – passengers hiking on a glacier, dog sledding and kayaking, while a  upbeat tune with a heavy base blared out the refrain Lust for Life!   Take a look and listen:


But few people (except those Iggy Pop fans like me) knew what the song was really about – booze, drug addiction, a dead heroin dealer, and sex.   Here is a portion of the lyrics: 

Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine
He’s gonna do another striptease
Hey man where’d you get
That lotion? I been hurting
Since I bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah something called love
That’s like hypnotizing chickens
Well I am just a modern guy
Of course I’ve had it in the ear before

‘Cause of a lust for life
‘Cause of a lust for life .  .  .

Both of my boys have Iggy Pop loaded on their iPods.  They used to break out in laughter when they heard this commercial.  They’d say "hey Dad, isn’t that the cruise line you sue all of the time?  Why is Iggy Pop singing for them?"    "Yes," I would tease them.  "Royal Caribbean’s CEO Richard Fain may seem like a Tony Bennett or Perry Como fan, but he secretly loves Iggy Pop!" I would tell my kids.

Take a minute and listen to Iggy’s original version of "Lust for Life" back in 1977 ( when I was a freshman in college): 


Royal Caribbean, Iggy Pop, drugs, booze and sex – strange bedfellows in the weird world of cruising . . .  

  • You have to admit, this was a great way to get people excited about cruising. People have to take responsibility for their actions, but I will say that parents do need to do a better job of making sure their teenagers are protected from predators.

    Scott Lara
    @scottlara1961 on Twitter

  • johnny jaboni

    sex,drugs,rock n roll

  • Suzanne

    LOVED this ad campaign. Speaking of RCCL ads, I haven’t seen any on TV. They had that conch shell one, which I thought was badly envisioned. Is it even still playing? They should bring back the Lust for Life campaign with all new videos from the Oasis and Allure.

  • I agree Suzanne.

  • Robert Walthall, Roanoke VA

    The first time I saw this campaign, my reaction was ‘you gotta be kidding!’ Some creative director has really put one over on this one… Forget nude bodies in ice cubes, this trumps that! When I saw it again and again and again i had to surf
    up the lyrics on the internet to get a head check on this. Oh. My. God.

    Yep, while the kiddies climb the rock wall, Mom & Dad are down on the Promenade. Deck with liquor & drugs and the flesh machine, never having had it in the ear before.

    Meanwhile, Bob in lilly white suburbia innocently asks Muffy to download that “bouncy tune” from the Royal Carribean commercial to his iPod.

    Iggy Pop is probably still rolling in the floor in laughter from this one….