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The Natural History Museums of L.A. County typically theme our advertising campaigns around new and seasonal exhibitions. But this year, we were challenged to drive attendance and online engagement increases during a time when we have NO new major exhibitions. The resulting campaign highlights the wide variety of evergreen experiences at the Natural History Museum and La Brea Tar Pits and emphasizes that there is something for everyone – there are many ways to experience both museums. The campaign prompts the question “What blows YOUR mind?” and drives visitors online to discover quirky self-guided smartphone tours designed to fit a variety of interests and personalities. Onsite at the museums, visitors are encouraged to share their “mind-blowing” moments on social media to win prizes.
Building on the success of our 2013 awareness campaign, the “What Blows Your Mind?” campaign leverages both traditional media and user-generated social content. Outdoor, social, digital ads, and video are used in concert to drive traffic to our website or directly to our museums, where visitors are encouraged to choose a unique path for experiencing the museum through our self-guided mobile “tours with personality.” We created fresh, quirky tours with humorous writing, and immersive selfie walls – challenging the assumption that our museums offer passive, unchanging experiences. With the campaign visuals, we highlighted the diversity of our content and collections, as well as the diversity of our visitors, in a manner that is vibrant, fun, and unexpected (not adjectives our visitors would typically use to describe us!).The headline and hashtag challenge the perceived formality of our institution, using casual, accessible language and emphasizing the individual. The campaign is also fully bilingual, with all smartphone tours offered in English and Spanish, and all onsite graphics at the museums presented in dual-language.
The campaign launched in mid-December 2019, which means that we are only just starting to receive meaningful performance data. Early indicators from our media-placement agency show that the campaign is performing extremely well in generating awareness (1.2 million impressions, 18k site engagements), and in driving users to our website, but not yet impacting revenue. During the past few months, we have been amassing user-generated content which we will now begin to promote on social media with paid posts. As we enter this second phase of the campaign, we expect to see the awareness convert to revenue.