Entries include press, marketing, and donor development pieces. Could include email newsletters, viral marketing campaigns, fundraising videos, etc.
Jury Chair: Dana Allen-Greil, Project Manager for New Media
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
GOLD: Road Trip: The Giant Artichoke
San Jose Museum of Art
Judges said: This quirky video was produced in-house by San Jose Museum of Art staff armed with only a sense of humor, a video camera, and some crazy Japanese high-heels. The short clip depicts a journey to the fabulous Giant Artichoke restaurant, where a postcard is purchased and sent the to museum for inclusion in the “Road Trip” exhibition. Viewers are then prompted to send their own iconic, unusual, and hilarious postcards to supplement the museum’s “Road Trip” exhibition.” The judges were impressed with the innovative, low-cost, and appropriate use of technology to reach a large audience and engage people with the exhibition beyond the walls of the museum. Both the idea and the execution are fun, creative, and playful and show that the museum is both scrappy and savvy about engaging with visitors and successfully integrating experiences between online and offline presences.
Producers said: The Giant Artichoke Video features a wild shoe-wearing traveler on a road trip to Castroville, CA who visits a quirky landmark and sends a postcard to SJMA. Created for the exhibition Road Trip and capitalizing on the common experience of a summer road trip, the goals of this hybrid marketing and interpretation project were threefold: to create buzz around the exhibition, sow the seeds for a participatory experience both outside and inside the Museum, and build connections between the Museum’s online audience and onsite visitors.
Articles promoting the exhibition and video were featured on websites such as Road Trip America, uploaded to the museum’s server, SJMA’s YouTube Channel, and iTunes. Utilizing these online portals for audience development, the video reached new audiences previously unfamiliar with SJMA. The video was selected by You Tube as one of their featured videos, which in turn resulted in over 82,000 views and hundreds of postcards arriving from around the world—ranging from the SPAM Museum to the Eiffel Tower. During the exhibition, the video was shown in the gallery alongside the received postcards. An art-making station where visitors could make a postcard, which was stamped and mailed, furthered the viral reach outside the Museum.
SILVER: Inside: The Emperor’s Treasure
National Palace Museum
Judges said: The dazzling imagery and captivating storytelling in this one-hour documentary program, created in partnership with National Geographic Channels International, showcases the rich Chinese culture and heritage housed within the National Palace Museum. Created with the goal to market the museum internationally, the judges felt that the focus on behind-the-scenes content—from how the temperature and air quality is controlled to how staffers create high-resolution 3D images of he museum’s treasures—make the video a product that would be appealing even to museum insiders. A massive distribution in multiple languages demonstrates just one the ways in which this high-effort, high-impact project is being leveraged smartly to bring the National Palace Museum to people around globe.
Producers said: With the goal to market the museum internationally, the National Palace Museum has teamed up with National Geographic Channels International to produce Inside: The Emperor’s Treasure. The one-hour documentary program will air exclusively on National Geographic Channel’s 250 million homes in 166 countries and 34 languages. The English version had premiered on October 28, 2007 in Taiwan and other parts of Asia.
The National Geographic’s “Inside” series is best known for filming at the most inaccessible places. With the unprecedented collaboration, the mystery of the National Palace Museum has been unveiled with high quality HD image, and the legendary story of the greatest transportation of cultural artifacts in human history has been told around the world. “Inside: The Emperor’s Treasure” takes viewers on an amazing journey into the secret imperial treasure vaults of the National Palace Museum for the first time. It features the story of a Chinese emperor’s ambitious art collections, the courage of the people who protected it from destruction during the two wars, and modern technology used to preserve the masterpieces for future generations. What’s more, it depicts how the museum utilized the state-of-the-art technology to examine ancient artifacts from inside out, giving the magnificent collections new lease on life.
Supervised by National Geographic Channel’s Asia-based experienced production team, Inside: The Emperor’s Treasure started filming in June 2007. Team members of the production were international professionals who came from Australia, Austria and American. All of them were extremely excited to film the documentary at the National Palace Museum. The executive producer Christopher Slaughter said “It is such a tremendous opportunity! Many of my friends are studying art history, and have come to the National Palace Museum many times for research, but they have never been able to come in such close contact with the Museum’s collections! They were so envious when they heard that I will be entering the vaults!” Joanne Tsai, Vice-President of Asia and General Manager of National Geographic Channel Asia said, “The initiative has enabled the National Palace Museum to showcase the rich Chinese culture and heritage to our modern global audiences.”
BRONZE: Royal Tyrrell Museum Distance Learning-Promotional Video
Royal Tyrrell Distance Learning
Judges said: What do you do when teachers—the target audience for your fantastic suite of videoconference programs—are hesitant or unfamiliar with the technologies you offer for outreach in their classrooms? The Royal Tyrrell Museum tackles this problem with creative flair by offering a promotional video demystifying their offerings and showing, in clear and compelling terms, how the programs can meet the needs of students of all grade levels. From rocks to fossils to dinosaurs, the promotional film (available online and on DVD) draws the viewer into an approximation of the actual videoconferencing experience offered by the museum and portrays their best qualities: accessibility, fun, and relevance to teachers. The use of testimonials from teachers within the video demonstrates the museum’s strong understanding of its audiences and their needs.
Producers said: The popularity of the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Distance Learning Program, launched in September of 2006, has grown exponentially in a short period of time. With a suite of videoconference programs available for students of all grade levels, throughout Alberta, across North America and beyond its success just kept increasing. Much of this growth was attributed to the promotion of the program through videoconferencing websites, word of mouth referrals, and repeat participants.
The challenge soon became, however, how to sell videoconferencing programs to a market of teachers unfamiliar with the technology, while at the same time distinguishing the Museum’s offerings from those of other content suppliers. Thus we created the Distance Learning Promotional Video with its goal being to give new audiences the familiarity and confidence to try this facet of the Museum’s educational programming, or at least videoconferencing in general. The video is intended to offer a brief overview of the program, the Museum’s philosophy on videoconferencing, what’s required to connect and encourage teachers to book a program.
Prior to the creation of the video, the Museum offered to conduct information sessions through videoconferencing for teachers to address any logistical questions or concerns. More often then not these sessions resulted in teachers booking future programs – however each connection took much of the Museum staff’s time to arrange and deliver. This video seeks to serve the same purpose as the information sessions, but in a much more efficient and consistent manner.
The Distance Learning Promotional Video is an excellent fit for the Museum’s marketing repertoire, particularly for the Distance Learning Program as its medium for programming is entirely digital. The video is available online through both the Museum’s and Alberta Government’s websites, numerous video conferencing community websites, YouTube, and through personal distribution of DVD copies at conferences and events.
HONORABLE MENTION: Unframed Blog
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Judges said: The judges were impressed by the quality and thoughtfulness of the writing on LACMA’s blog and appreciated the focus on behind-the-scenes tales from a diverse group of staffers. By eliminating the traditional voice of the institution and replacing it instead with a more casual and inviting the style, “Unframed” successfully shares those stories that are not press release worthy with their fans outside the museum in an engaging and personable way. LACMA also gets extra points for the clever blog title.
Producers said: LACMA’s blog, Unframed, was created to act as the foremost web destination for the Los Angeles cultural community and the broader public by presenting LACMA and art at large from a more personal and informal perspective. Unframed aims to increase positive perception, visibility, and accessibility of the museum via its thoughtful content, which has been widely noted by influential arts writers such as Tyler Green, who called it his, “new daily obsession,” as well as LA Times art critic Christopher Knight, the Huffington Post, LA Observed, Curbed LA, and many others, not to mention countless links to its posts. Unframed provides a vehicle for LACMA to tell untold stories, those that aren’t necessarily suitable for press releases, marketing ephemera, or other means of communication. Through the blog, the museum has garnered widespread coverage for its digital catalogue publishing; its electronic celebration of a permanent collection sculpture, Urban Light; as well as exhibitions and programming at virtually no cost to LACMA.
Effie Kapsalis, Senior Digital Producer, Smithsonian Photography Initiative
Molly McMullen, Head of Marketing and Public Relations, The Kreeger Museum
Sarah Sullivan, Web Producer, Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries
John Gordy, Web Manager, National Gallery of Art
Bill Barbot, Principal, Threespot Media
Cyndi Bohlin, Communications & Marketing Manager, Textile Museum
Daniel McKee, Principal/Business Director, Insomniac Design