Five Years at the Imperial War Museum

Outside the Imperial War Museum in summer 2017. The daisies were added to the naval canons as part of a campaign for the Fighting for Peace exhibition. This was part of a wider initiative to broaden the customer base of the museum.
Tate Modern, Southbank Centre and Science Museum Posters spring 2022 (author snaps)

The Mission

Everything the Museum does emanates from a simple one-sentence mission: to increase the public understanding of war and conflict. (Author)
Marketing at the “thin end of the wedge”. We positioned our marketing as the beginning of the customer’s journey in increasing their understanding of war. (Author)
Our “Price (of) War” campaign avoided the kind of images that would arouse pity. Instead, it “brought the war home” to people by demonstrating its devastating economic consequences for ordinary people like themselves. (Publicity images) Credit for artwork to Dog, Cat and Mouse agency. Campaign executed by Claire Tomley.
When the Evening Standard broke the news of Boris Johnson’s 2019 landslide election victory, we placed an ad about the “challenges of leadership in extraordinary times” for the Churchill War Rooms. Johnson, a colourful politician and one of the architects of Brexit, has a well-known fondness for Churchill. In the same year, to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the marketing team commissioned a monument by street artists Stik and Thierry Noir. (Publicity images). These are part of campaigns executed by (left) Siobhan Sharp and (right) Claire Tomley.
How to “tell the truth and make it interesting”. Great advertising works at the intersection of your product and your audience’s wants and needs. David Ogilvy wrote: “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”
To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019, we put museum hubs in London Bridge and Waterloo train stations in London. The hubs included a life-size Spitfire, our own free “newspapers” and audiovisual units that retold the events and context of D-Day. (Author) Campaign execution by Siobhan Sharp and Kate Hannah, space and AV units kindly donated by Space and People agency.

So, did it work?

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