The VanScavenger Hunt III Experience

Vanguard Direct’s culture is defined by the location of our headquarters in midtown Manhattan. We can see the Empire State Building from our windows and can often be found craving fresh bagels.

What better way to celebrate our location than by exploring it? On September 12, VGD continued one of its traditional celebrations with the third annual VanScavenger Hunt. For the hunt, Vanguardians are given several clues pointing them to various locations around NYC. The first team to decode the cryptic clues and return to our 519 Eighth Avenue office is declared the winner and receives prizes and, more important, bragging rights until the next hunt.

This VGD tradition was started by Mark Dion, a Creative Director in our creative services department. Mark can also be found planning Halloween parties, apple-bobbing contests, and other VGD shenanigans. This year, in cahoots with VGD’s social media committee, Mark gave the VanScavenger Hunt III a new a twist: each team had to tweet a group photo at each location in order to win the game. Each team was required to have a team tweeter, and a few sessions were held to teach all tweeters to be successful.

So on September 12, thirteen teams of Vanguardians set out in a race. It started with each player holding a fifth of a puzzle that, when solved, created a QR code leading to five out of six clues for the hunt, with one clue remaining a mystery. Unbeknownst to the teams, the theme of this hunt was “The Smallest of NYC,” so hunters were sent to the smallest street, museum, park, piece of property, and freestanding building in the city.

The smallest freestanding building is a tiny locksmith’s shop with 10,000 keys embedded into its facade and was the location for the last mystery clue. In addition to the puzzle pieces, each team had to carry a locked box on their travels. At the locksmith, they were met by the keymasters, Vanguard Direct CEO Bob O’Connell and Director of Marketing Paul Wry. Each team then had to fish out a key from a box of twelve other keys in order to be directed to Ralph Bunche Park (near the United Nations headquarters), where they found our COO, Ralph Fucci. Ralph then directed the teams to the last location in front of U Thant Island, the smallest island visible from the east side of Manhattan.

Back at VGD headquarters, the Game Geeks were sitting in the “control room“ monitoring the game live on Twitter using the hunt hash tag #vgdhunt. They were able to communicate with each “team tweeter” and congratulate the winners as they walked through the door. After about three hours of hunting, all Vanguardians returned to home base. The hunt was fun, and Twitter was embraced––a successful day on all fronts.

To see the whole story unfold, check out #vgdhunt on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. If you want a bonus, check out the top three teams in the infographics below!


Author: Natacha Arora


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