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.

“The Museum was focused on driving visitation beyond the core segment with an existing interest in world cultures and history,” says Andrew Arntfield, President of Field Day Inc. “We needed to find ways to intrigue and motivate the general public who would not have a natural affinity for the Museum and its programming.”

“As with any cultural institution, it’s a fine line that we need to tread,” says Arntfield. “We are respectful of the Museum’s image as curators and custodians of Islamic heritage, and yet we need to convince the general public that they Museum is both enlightening AND entertaining.”

The Strategy

While each of the Museum’s exhibitions posed a different challenge, storytelling was the common key to success.

For “Syria: A Living History”, Field Day brought the exhibition to light through the eyes of Syrian newcomers to Canada who were visiting 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.

For the exhibition “The Lost Dhow”, Field Day tapped into the intrigue and mystery of treasure lost at sea for over 1,200 years, and now on display for the first time anywhere. The print and out-of-home campaign used twin “Lost” and “Found” creative executions to pique curiosity.

In order to overcome misconceptions that the Museum was strictly a home for historical artifacts and antiquities, Field Day’s campaign for “Rebel Jester Mystic Poet” featured a bold, striking image of a contemporary Persian Millennial blowing a pink bubble, which was integrated into the exhibition tag line: “Pop Culture: Persian Style”.

What we did

EXHIBITION POSITIONING

Messaging strategy, campaign tagline and copywriting.

CREATIVE CONCEPTS

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

TACTICAL ACTIVATION

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