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Google Museum Island

A conversation amongst the young about the ancient

The Challenge

With more and more under-30s visiting Berlin, the local Museum Island had seen its recent visitor numbers drop 7.4%.

The Insight

Certain human qualities are timeless: we have always been brave, insecure, proud, humble and everything in between.

The Solution

We started a conversation that reached over 8.5 million individuals — with young Museum Island visitor figures up 8% and counting.

Nestled amongst the concrete and cool of Berlin is an island that houses 6,000 years of human history.

Whilst more and more under 30s visit the German capital, Museum Island (a local attraction) had seen its visitor numbers drop 7.4%. Young people weren’t seeing the relevance of the artefacts and truths the museum was revealing, finding the spaces ‘overwhelming’, ‘old’ and ‘stuffy’.

Google Arts and Culture and Museum Island joined creative forces in a bid to celebrate Berlin and its culture and put Museum Island on the ‘must-see’ map for Millennials. Their mission: to show that an island journey can be just as compelling as snapping a selfie or checking out a cereal cafe.

If they weren’t going to go to the museum, we needed to bring it to them — via a show-stopping social media conversation.

We’re as human as we’ve always been

Since history began, humans have hunted for a meaning. Art and artifacts in museums are evidence of this search — our ancestors’ attempts to understand their place in the universe by exploring life, death, love and loss. Covering 6,000 years of human history, the museum’s combined collection allows us to see this at an unrivalled scale. Mapping the needs and interests of our audience against the museum exhibits, it soon became clear. 

Certain human qualities are timeless: we have always been brave, insecure, proud, humble and everything in between. From feminists and influencers guiding society, relationships plagued with infidelity to individuals fearless in their exploration of the world. Museum Island has the stories to prove it. 

Capturing the conversation

Listening to over 2,000 conversations taking place about global cultural institutions on social media, we curated audience engagement themes.

We shaped bold creative designed to stop scrolls and spark conversation working with influential creators made up of our audience (Berliners and tourists) to form a co-created narrative around six truths: feminism, belonging & squad goals, modern romance, wanderlust, recognition & validation and gender & body image.

12 weeks of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube content brought together vintage Island visuals with modern culture, filters and memes. The Olympic gods of Pergamon declaring BAE or forbidden Twilight-esque romance in Édouard Manet’s Conservatory. A platform allowed audiences to tread further into the island. Google Arts & Culture and partner channels offered a potential relevant reach of 10 million.


We built a culture-movement with over three million millennials engaging in a scroll-stopping social conversation about Museum Island’s 6,000 year history.

Before our campaign, Museum Island was ranked 73 amongst cultural institutions in terms of social engagement. By the end of our campaign, Museum Island was ranked #5.


  • 7.2 M members of our target audience reached
  • 94% positive sentiment
  • 8% increase in Museum Island visitors
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