Virgin Voyages Hid 50 Posters Around London. Find One, and You’ll Get Into a VIP Event

Mother based the design on Shackleton's call for explorers

The posters are hidden across a wide range of London bars and eateries. Mother New York
Headshot of David Griner

If you’re bar hopping in London this weekend, keep one eye on the wall decor. You might just spot a golden ticket to one of the season’s most VIP events.

Virgin Voyages, the Richard Branson-affiliated cruise line that’s nearing launch, has worked with agency Mother New York to develop 50 posters that have been hidden across London. Anyone who finds one should rip it off the wall asap, because it doubles as an invite (with a guest) to the brand’s exclusive “Scarlet Night” event on May 21.

Branson, whose Virgin Group is launching Virgin Voyages in partnership with Bain Capital, will reportedly be teasing the scavenger hunt on his Instagram feed, officially kicking off the search.

The poster design from Mother New York was inspired by the ad supposedly run by Ernest Shackleton in his search of a crew to explore Antarctica with him in the early 1920s.

Shackleton Foundation

The newspaper ad’s copy allegedly said: “MEN WANTED for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success.”

It’s a beloved ad legend, even though it almost certainly never happened and no evidence of such an ad has ever been found. (Tearsheet versions like the one at left were dreamed up by illustrators for books decades later.)

Still, the spirit behind the ad endures—and is reborn for a new nautical purpose with Virgin Voyages’ “Sailors Wanted” poster:

The invitations were handcrafted on letterpress to capture the old-world printing aesthetic and evoke the idea of a world still worth exploring.

Those who find the posters will get access to the “Scarlet Night” party, which the brand promises to be an epic preview of the amenities that will be offered about Virgin Voyages’ first ship, the Scarlet Lady.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."