Museum Reopening Campaign Entices Locally and Wins Nationally

milwaukee art museum uncrate campaign

Milwaukee Art Museum Reopening

Reintroducing Milwaukee Art Museum with Award-Winning Interactive Campaign

“Uncrated. Unveiled.” campaign drew record-setting attendance for the Milwaukee Art Museum through mysterious shipping crates linked to interactive website

After completing its 14-month renovation, the Milwaukee Art Museum needed to reopen its doors and showcase artwork that had been kept in storage in a way that was every bit as unique as the artwork inside. Buzz Monkeys was challenged with creating an integrated marketing campaign that would inspire and move people by tapping into their creative spirit. “Uncrated. Unveiled.” was developed to be interactive, newsworthy and socially engaging.

The top-secret campaign launched at midnight with giant art crates mysteriously appearing in dozens of popular Milwaukee locations from the airport to city parks. The crates were stamped with information enabling eager and curious participants to open a crate via mobile phone and read all about a particular work of art, providing a truly interactive experience for an increasingly millennial arts audience. Milwaukeeans shared their love for the crates and the Museum via social media, and traditional media outlets got just as excited.

The campaign helped draw a record-setting audience for the Museum. Overall attendance during the grand reopening period was up more than 30 percent over the same time frame in prior years. The Museum even saw the largest attendance in 10 years during Thanksgiving week, which fell right after the reopening.

The campaign generated more than 150 million media impressions, including national coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, 400 media stories and 125 TV spots. The Museum’s social media platforms experienced tremendous growth – with Instagram growing by 40 percent.
Buzz Monkeys took home a PRSA Paragon Award and Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in New York for the campaign.