With a collection like no other, the Natural History Museum holds over 80 millions specimens that span 4.5 billion years, which are integral in telling the story of life on Earth. This makes it the most important natural history collection in the world.
In a bid to reignite curiosity and increase visitor numbers, SomeOne were commissioned to create a year long campaign that would break the mould of tradition exhibition-by-exhibition campaigns and revitalise the tone, look and feel of the institution.
It’s already proven to be the most successful in the entire Museum’s history.
Since campaign went live: Most visitors in 145 years
Museums & Heritage Awards 2019 — Campaign of the Year
Transform Awards 2019 — Best use of copywriting
Drum Marketing Awards 2019 — Public Sector
Creative Pool 2019 — Out Of Home Award
Creative Pool 2019 — Effectiveness Award
Our solution is a radical one for the sector — contemporary, fun, engaging, emotional and audience led.
We created the overarching strategic idea of “Come to life” with duality in mind.
An invitation for people to visit the museum, but also, and more importantly, the ability for all specimens to come to life, have a personality and voice their opinions (however risky).
It was essential that the voices of the specimens resonated with the target audience. Powering with the visual and verbal language of memes was a radical departure from past activity, but one that has truly elevated the campaign. There’s a real joy in seeing the most famous blue whale specimen in Europe announce to the nation, whale hello there!
To complement the lighthearted tone, we built a simple, bold graphic system.
Built with the visual language of Memes in mind — to rapidly engage with a younger audience — the new brand operating system allows messaging to be deployed at speed and at scale.
The vibrant colours and bold graphic approach capture the spirit of the modern language. From 48 sheets, to 6 sheets, to Instagram posts, the combination is striking and deeply effective.
From Ice Skating to Butterflies to Specialist Exhibitions to The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. There’s not just lots to see at the Natural History Museum, there is a lot to do — and those activities are ever changing throughout the year. Yet people told us that they thought that once you’ve been to the Museum, you need not think about going again for some time—this needed to change! The team made a smart move to combine forces under one big cohesive strategy to ring the changes and champion the varied portfolio of reasons to visit now, and visit again. The radical look and tone of voice significantly amplified the national campaign and delivered visitor numbers that have exceeded all expectations—and we’ve only just got started…
Museums are typically trapped in a rush to educate, we pivoted to a position where the brand not only educates, it motivates.
The new work has been deployed across many channels over a sustained period—from owned, earnt, and paid. Our compelling connected approach was delivered through social, print, poster, editorial and digital work as well as extensive work in and around the museum to continue to messaging.
Based on the outstanding performance of the campaign we were asked to create the next campaign for 2019.
You can find some of the glorious headlines below…
‘I was Herbivore You…’