Our assignment was to use the first event to occur at Newfields (formerly The Indianapolis Museum of Art) to help prove that anything staged in this new “place for nature and the arts” would be a fantastic, well-curated event. Winterlights, which transformed the museum grounds to a walkable winter wonderland, managed to capture that feeling of holiday magic—our job was to communicate the feeling to the public.
In this fifteen-second TV ad (which was also used as online video content), the imagery and audio evoke a wistful, nostalgic feeling unique to the holidays. The music is reminiscent of a classic storybook tale or traditional carol, and the animation captures the spirit of lights-at-night-in-snow, perhaps stirring memories of a classic holiday TV special, and communicating the overall promise of a holiday tradition in the making.
Despite one of the coldest winters on record in Indianapolis, Winterlights' inaugural year couldn’t have been more successful, increasing campus visitation from the previous year overall by 400%. The attendance goal was doubled, with nearly 70,000 visitors—and 86% of the tickets were purchased in advance online. The event also achieved its goal of attracting a broader audience the museum had been previously unable to reach, as 44% of attendees had not been on the campus in the previous twelve months. And while the Winterlights campaign was a success well beyond Newfields’ goals, maybe the most notable statistic is this: Newfields and Winterlights became THE place where proposals were made over the holidays in Indianapolis. At least 45 marriage proposals were made during the 41-day event. And those are just the ones we’re aware of.