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2018 Bronze Entertainment, publishing and gaming

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Client: National Museums Liverpool

Campaign name: China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warrirors

Campaign overview

Making visitors march to the Terracotta Army

The brief

Build excitement around ancient China to drive visitors to a unique exhibition about China’s terracotta warriors

Strategy

Museums can be seen as stuffy, outdated places. National Museums Liverpool challenged this perception by bringing the world of ancient China to life through compelling storytelling, original video content and surprising stunts.

With target ticket sales of 450,000 the aim was to diversify the museum’s visitor profile and attract national audiences, including people who wouldn’t normally visit. The epic story of China’s First Emperor who lived 2,000 years ago underpinned the strategy.

Three campaign phases – with digital, social and video at their heart – drew on cues from music, film and theatre to costeffectively generate anticipation among new audiences, driving ticket sales for the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Creativity

From the cinematic video immersing viewers in ancient China that announced ticket details, to 3D street art that’s stopped thousands in their tracks, each element of the campaign emotionally engages audiences.

Follow-up video content, which lives as a legacy and testimony to the museum’s expertise, offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the exhibition, revealing the stories behind some of the star objects and sharing visitor reactions as well as expert commentary on key themes.

Paid-for digital advertising, including Google AdWords, digital display and social media ads – enabled a programme of continuous testing to optimise creative. OOH at North-west commuter hubs, national leafleting and press ads in target publications were also rolled out.

Results

The ambitious ticket sales target was exceeded months before the end of the campaign, and membership of the museum increased by 176%. In the first three months of opening, 41% of exhibition visitors arrived from beyond the North-west compared to the museum’s average of 23%, and, since opening, overall visits increased by 131% compared to the same period last year.

The campaign generated over 1.6 million web page visits, 1.2 million video views and reached 5.2 million people on social media. The exhibition also attracted unprecedented media attention with 365 pieces of media coverage and an AVE of £1.5m.

Team

National Museums Liverpool - Jennifer Grindley, Marketing Officer - Scott Smith, Digital Content Manager - Sam Vaux, Marketing Manager - Lisa Middleton, Marketing Manager - Lucy Hodson, Communications Manager - Sarah Webster, Press Officer - Laura Johnson Press Officer - Tracey McGeagh, Director of Marketing and Communications

Contributors

MediaCom North, Sparkle, Tomfoolery and FACT

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