Virgin Voyages


Way before being hyperconnected, things used to be average.   

Creatives were conservative because they needed to appeal to an average audience.  It’s not their fault… they didn’t have the data to do otherwise, and most of them wanted stability in their jobs.  

 Now we all talk to each other skipping the middleman.  Now the anti-conformist have organized around the concept of celebrating to be different.  But It’s not that we are different now. We’ve been historically different, but now we have the data to prove it and brands are adventuring to discover what we really want.  

Don’t know if you have noticed but vinyls are back, craft beers are disrupting average beers, there’s clubs for everything: wine, haiku societies, punk cartoon, soap carvers, milk bottle collectors, tape art, trainspotters, competitive dog grooming.  If you love it, most likely there is somebody in the world that loves it too, and now you can talk to each other. Maybe with a little help of a Google Translator, but there is no excuse NOT to communicate, and organize. 

The first time I went on a cruise I felt out of place.  I was sitting with 8 strangers that were assigned to my round table.  The waitresses were doing a Gangnam Style choreography, and the guy sitting right next to us took a bottle of coke out of the inside pocket of his jacket (it was Gala night), and he said: “I brought my own coca cola stash from home.  No way, I’m paying for a beverage package. Did it once. Never again”.

I thought I heard the movement of my wife’s eyes, as they were rolling in disbelief.  Once dinner was over, just when I thought that nothing can get any tackier, I almost got pulled to participate in a hairy chest competition happening right next to a whirlpool full of kids that apparently needed to relax.

There has to be a better way to cruise the Caribbean from Miami.  Never again we said! We promised, we did the research and never found that alternative.   

Now it’s time to break the promise.  I’ve been assigned Virgin Voyages to create a mockup Instagram campaign for a project, and the more I peruse through their photos, articles, videos, and music, the more I picture myself back on a cruise ship sailing the caribbean.  Clear proof that the right combination of imagery and messaging can persuade the most skeptic individuals. Virgin Voyages is aligning cruising to our lifestyle. And the Countdown begins to meet the Scarlet Lady.

Yeah yeah! I know I may sound like an anti-Conformist, and I know the story of how we all look the same in our effort to be different.      

Seth Godin writes in his blog that is “scary to go way out on an edge and intentionally make what you do unattractive to some.” (Post: “No” to average), and Jenna Wortham from The New York Times says it beautifully in her article: “Search for a Market Niche and you might find a crowd”.   So is no surprise that brands are looking for microinfluencers to deliver their message.  There is an inverse relationship with the number of followers of an influencer and the level of engagement, as detailed in Francesca Cruz’ article in (Influencers: Micro & Macro, 5/16/18)  

Virgin Voyages is proof of this.  I was supposed to be doing a project for Grad School, and they are making me cruise again.






Note: To read more about Crowdcultures and Amplified Subcultures, check the article that inspired the premise of this post in the Harvard Business Review: Branding in the age of social media by Douglas Holt.



Screenshot from Virgin Voyages official YouTube Channel Video