Today sees the start of a digital out of home advertising campaign which begins the search for intrepid volunteers to participate in a scientific trek to the Last Pole (http://www.lastpole.co.uk/) – the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, which has never been reached before.
The expedition, the flagship of project Ice Warrior (http://www.ice-warrior.com/) by Ascot, Berkshire-based Jim McNeill, one of the world’s most experienced and respected polar explorers, will run from February to May 2016.
The search starts today with a national digital out of home campaign across Ocean Outdoor’s premium network of locations. It begins in London (at Eat Street, Westfield London in Shepherds Bush) (http://www.oceanoutdoor.com/products/digital/eat-street/), and will continue to be displayed there, alongside screens in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow, with tailored messages for the people in each specific city.
Former fireman Jim McNeill said, “We want to recruit ordinary men and women on this epic expedition, which will be the first polar trek to actively seek people off the street. This is one of the most exciting, biggest and boldest expeditions of our time, and harks back to the golden age of polar exploration, when there were no experts.”
People who respond to the digital advertising will be asked to complete a questionnaire and then, if successful, will be invited to selection weekends in June and July, costing £245. Candidates will then face further challenges and intensive Arctic training.
“I want 28 people aged 18-80 from all walks of life and who want to make history and a crucial contribution to science.
“Expeditioners will be measuring many sea-ice parameters and the data they collect will further the scientific community’s knowledge of how it disintegrates.”
The journey, including all training and kit, will cost around £20,000 per person and participants are required to have the characteristics and drive to fundraise this money. The expedition will be split into four legs, each lasting 20 days. In total, the trek will cover 800 miles.
Jim, who is 54 and has over 30 years of polar expedition experience, is passionate about opening up the Arctic scenery to those willing to participate. “People don’t need to be super fit. Maturity helps, but the most essential thing is that people must be excellent team players.”
Ocean Outdoor has offered digital advertising slots nationwide, which will run at a range of times from today until Monday May 4. Together with other campaigns running later in the year, their generous donation is worth £250,000 in advertising value.
“Before today, digital out of home had never been used for expedition recruitment, but the beauty of the platform is that relevant recruitment messaging can be targeted simultaneously at individuals across the country. This is a world first for many different reasons.”
Richard Malton from Ocean Outdoor said, “This is a one off-opportunity for the people of the UK to do something extraordinary. Ocean are proud to be able to support such an amazing adventure and hope that our digital advertising network will inspire a variety of individuals across the UK to take part.”
The expedition will use a hybrid kayak-sledge designed by Jim called a QAJAQ, which will serve as a vessel on ice, sea ice and water and double as a survival pod.
Would-be explorers should please visit www.lastpole.co.uk. For information about Jim McNeill visit www.ice-warrior.com . The expedition is being promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #LastPole and participants can register their interest by texting ‘ICE’ to 66777.