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Virgin Advertising Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson stars in a cheeky scent ad for Virgin Voyages


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

December 13, 2019 | 3 min read

Sir Richard Branson knows how to have a bit of fun at his own expense, and his latest ad for a new scent inspired by his Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady ship fits the bill.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson for Ship No. 1

As a cheeky nod to the classic perfume ads, Virgin Voyages has released Ship No. 1, the “signature scent of Scarlet Lady” with a video featuring Branson.

The black and white video starts like a typical perfume ad, with Branson on the rail of a ship and glamour shots of the Scarlet Lady cruising through the ocean. The voice over asks “What do you desire…what if your object of desire is literally an object” as the ship comes into full view.

Cut to the perfume bottle and a description of it. Cut back to Branson, who looks into the camera and deadpans “It smells like ship.”

The accompanying website states “When somebody walks into the room and says, ‘It smells like something in here, but I just can't put my finger on it.’ Let them know. It smells like ship.”

Created by Air Aroma, Ship No. 1 actually exists, and a release states that the scent “embraces the marine and aromatic freshness of sea lavender, contrasted with the warmth of sun-kissed wood from a fig tree. Transport yourself into a vacation mindset all year long with the signature smell of the sea, salt in the air and sun on your skin feeling that is evoked by this new fragrance”.

The scent will be infused throughout the Scarlet Lady, but before the ship sets sail, people can purchase a bottle of Ship No. 1 exclusively on for $50 for a 100ml bottle. All net-proceeds will be donated to ocean conservation non-profit foundation, Ocean Unite.

Proceeds are in support of the 30X30 initiative, which aims to safeguard at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 through a network of highly protected marine areas.

Virgin Voyages: Ship No 1

By Virgin Voyages

Overall Rating 3/5

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Virgin Advertising Sir Richard Branson

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