We charged our agency Leo Burnett with creating an innovative advertising campaign and complementary activation ideas that would drive attendance to Van Gogh’s Bedrooms, and also bring the exhibition, and paintings, to life.
Bolstered by the insight that entering into someone’s bedroom gives you a window into their physical and emotional space, Leo Burnett created an opportunity for Chicagoans to literally step inside Van Gogh’s bedroom. In conjunction with Airbnb, we rented and transformed a bedroom into an exact replica of Van Gogh’s room. We offered the space on Airbnb for $10/night.
The Art Institute has a relatively small advertising budget. Therefore, we have to create ads and promotions that will make a splash in the marketplace and drive additional value.
We purposefully did not use paid media. We announced it through our social channels several days before the opening and let word spread organically. In order to maintain interest, we released room blocks throughout the exhibition and promoted exclusively through social media.
The room was an unequivocal success. Each block of rooms sold out within several minutes and the activation generated over half a billion media impressions in over 100 countries. This promotion helped drive the highest overall attendance for any exhibition in the last 15 years