Aga Khan Museum

The Situation

The Aga Khan Museum's aim is to offer unique insights and new perspectives into Islamic civilizations and the cultural threads that bind us all together. Field Day was contracted as creative AOR in the fall of 2014 to develop the messaging strategy and creative campaigns for the Museum's exhibitions, performing arts and other offerings. In late 2016 the Aga Khan Museum presented Syria: A Living History, a major exhibition of Syrian artifacts and antiquities dating back 5,000 years. The subject of the exhibition was both timely and sensitive given the ongoing war in Syria and Canada's leadership role in welcoming Syrian refugees.

The Strategy

Field Day’s goal was to drive awareness and visitation to the Museum by “cultural believers” who have a predetermined affinity for art, history and architecture. However, given the current heightened awareness of Syria and the refugee situation, we felt that this exhibition would be compelling for a wider audience that wanted to know more about Syria and its people. Our strategy was to focus on Syrian newcomers to Canada and to bring the exhibition to light through their eyes. The campaign included a series of videos featuring Syrian newcomers who were visiting the exhibition at the museum for the first time. Their personal stories, their deep pride in their heritage, and their gratitude for Canada is highly compelling and gave the campaign immediacy and intimacy. The videos struck a chord with viewers whose perceptions of the refugees were based primarily on the stories and images they saw on the news.

Due to demand, Syria: A Living History was extended for an additional 2 weeks at the Aga Khan Museum. The exhibition generated a wealth of press coverage, and the online video campaign drove record shares, likes, comments, and - most importantly - clickthroughs to the Museum website for more information.

What we did


Messaging strategy, campaign tagline and copywriting.


Development of advertising and collateral including video production, print, digital and out-of-home.


Development of attention-getting outreach tactics that effectively engaged our target audiences.