This is no Minnow. Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s award-winning and 5-star rated cruise and travel brand, celebrates the start of an epic 2023 with the launch of a video inspired by a music video. “The Voyage.” Crafted by visionary director Jonas Åkerlund, the creative celebrates the exclusively adult experience and takes viewers on a cinematic journey through 24 hours at sea.
Virgin Voyages is a cruise line that differentiates itself by offering luxury adults-only voyages.
With Michelin-star menus and award-winning amenities, the brand is set to become one of the world’s most irresistible travel brands. Unlike cruising, which is often just a party at sea, Voyaging is a journey of discovery that encourages “sailors” to reconnect with their true selves; a world-class spa and yoga classes at sunrise counterbalance fine dining and late-night partying to create a unique and unforgettable experience – one that Virgin Voyages seeks to communicate through its new brand line, “Now We’re Voyaging,” created by VMLY&R.
The music video/short film is musically guided by a reimagining of Culture Club’s (remember Boy George?) iconic, 1983 song, Karma Chameleon, featuring pop artist Drew Love. Originally released by Virgin Records, the new Virgin Voyages-inspired tropical house tune is debuting during the 40th anniversary of the original song’s iteration, paying homage to its Virgin roots.
Delivered as a methodically-driven short film, Virgin Voyages tells its story through the lens of the Sailor experience, all firmly rooted in the musical DNA of Virgin. This new music video also coincides with the launch of the new brand campaign, “Now We’re Voyaging.”
Starring real Virgin Voyages Crew members and Sailors, the video was inspired by their first-hand experiences on board. “The Voyage” was filmed on the brand’s first ship in the fleet, Scarlet Lady, and captures the essence of what it’s like to vacation with the brand, incorporating moments of relaxation such as sunset yoga and the serenity of vacationing at sea. Watch below:
Jason Xenopoulos, Co-Chief Creative Officer for North America at VMLY&R says, “We believe that brands should create culture rather than interrupt it. “The Voyage” is an example of how music and entertainment can be used to tell a brand story while delivering an authentic entertainment experience to the audience. Virgin Voyages deserves more than an ad campaign, and we are delighted that we could create an entertainment experience instead – one that will live in culture where this brand belongs.”
Behind the Scenes or in this case – Below the Deck
At the helm is acclaimed Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund, whose work has been internationally awarded for feature films, documentaries, music videos, commercials and stage shows. Beyond these projects, Åkerlund has directed music videos for renowned artists from Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, to The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Maroon 5.
Working together with the team at Virgin Voyages, Åkerlund’s melodic, visually-driven storytelling was the perfect creative match to bring to life the feeling of transformative sailing aboard a Virgin Lady Ship.
Alongside this creative vision, the brand partnered with vocalist and songwriter, Drew Love – of the band THEY. – whose sound spans across genres including R&B, pop, dance and hip hop. Apart from THEY., Love pursues independent, solo projects and co-writes for other artists including G-Eazy, The Chainsmokers, SG Lewis, Louis the Child and John Legend.
Nathan Rosenberg, Chief Brand Officer of Virgin Voyages notes, “We have won the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of Sailors who have fallen in love with Virgin Voyages because we created an experience everybody could love. As we continue to showcase our ships to the world, we wanted to share what it’s like onboard based on what our sailors have told us and shared on social. It features real crew as well and is a celebration of travel and Voyaging. “The Voyage ” music video shows this in such a unique and relatable way, from a quiet and restorative feeling, to a dreamy, curious and energetic state. ”
In 2018 Virgin Voyages invited travelers to “Stray the Course” and consider the possibilities and innovations in cruise travel. In 2021, Richard Branson’s new company invited travelers to “Set Sail the Virgin Way,” asking Sailors to expect the unexpected.
Often called a disruptor in the travel sphere, Virgin Voyages is elevating the experience yet again. Now We’re Voyaging. The brand campaign exemplifies the duality of excitement and relaxation Sailors can expect aboard Virgin Voyages’ award-winning vessels.
Even as the newest cruise brand to enter the industry, Virgin Voyages has been making waves since its first sailing in 2021. With more five-star ratings than any other cruise line on TripAdvisor and numerous industry awards and accolades, the brand welcomes 2023 as its most exciting year to date.
On the horizon, Virgin Voyages will take delivery of two additional ships – Resilient Lady and Brilliant Lady – sailing to exciting new destinations including Greece and Australia.
CLIENT: Virgin Cruises Intermediate Limited (“Virgin Voyages”)
- Matt Freeman Managing Director, Bain Capital
- Nathan Rosenberg Chief Brand Officer
- Billy Bohan Chinique Director, Global Brand & Experience Strategy
- Isis Ruiz. Chief Growth Officer
- Christian Schrader Creative Director
- Taylor Dixon Sr. Manager – Communications
- Bailey Edwards. Editorial Director
- Kathy Boos. Senior Creative Content Producer
- Elayane Merriwether Senior Social Media Manager
- Michelle Estevam. Director of Public Relations, Communications
- Jason Xenopoulos North America Chief Creative Officer
- Ryan McManus. Chief Creative Officer
- Andrea Grodberg Global Chief Strategy Officer
- Tyler Smith Head of Production, North America
- Becky Ginsberg. Managing Director, Client Engagement
- Shali Wade. Executive Director
- Theresa Notartomaso Executive Music Producer, North America
- Kaylie Linder. Associate Music Producer
- Janet Muentes Senior Production Business Affairs
- Amy Worley Global Chief Connections Officer
- Adam Wollard Managing Director Connections
- Hamish McArthur Executive Design Director
- Lawrence Staebler Designer
- Alex Makarainen Designer
PRODUCTION COMPANY: RSA FILMS, Inc.
- Jonas Akerlund Director
- Luke Ricci President
- John Nguyen Executive Producer
- Tom O’Connell Head of Production
- Tracy Broaddus Line Producer
- John Ramsay EP/Partner
- Margaret Ward. EP/Head of Production
- Doobie White. Editor
- Hope Abrom Editor Assist
- Sara Gill Producer
- Wren Waters Flame VFX
- Dillon Cahill Sound Designer/Mixer
MUSIC: Milk & Honey Silo
- Jack Ormandy Co-Founder Milk & Honey Silo
- Lucas Keller Co-Founder Milk & Honey Silo
- Meirav Savyon Head Of Creative Licensing
- AJ Jiron Creative & Licensing Manager
SONG: Karma Chameleon – The Voyage Edition
- Written by: Boy George, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss and Phil Pickett
- Performed by: Drew Love
- Produced by: Neil Ormandy
- Ryan Schinman – Co-Founder
- Danny Simon – Senior Director, Music
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