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The Art Institute of Chicago

A one-time event turns into ongoing support

The Challenge

Increase audience engagement around an upcoming exhibition while inspiring long-term support from the community through memberships and donations.

The Insight

A blockbuster show is great for ticket sales, but also needs to inspire the audience to support the cultural institution long after the show is over.

The Solution

After implementing a new approach to storytelling, communication, and recruitment for the giving season, the museum saw its biggest end-of-year fundraising to date.

For cultural institutions, a blockbuster show is great for ticket sales, but it’s ongoing engagement that sustains them.

So when the Art Institute of Chicago partnered with us to increase audience engagement around its upcoming Roy Lichtenstein retrospective, the goal wasn’t just to get people excited about the exhibition, but to inspire them to support the Art Institute through memberships and donations long after the show was over.

We worked with the organization to design a content-rich, immersive digital experience for the exhibition. We also helped the Art Institute forge a new approach to storytelling and communication, with the goal of broadening and enriching its story in every respect, but specifically around recruitment. From there, we optimized the museum’s new membership messaging via an engaging email program.

Building on the success of the Lichtenstein project, we worked with the Art Institute of Chicago to reshape how it brings in donations online and engages its most important audiences. After implementing these new strategies for the giving season, the museum saw its biggest end-of-year fundraising to date.

Video storytelling

To inspire visitors to visit the show and become members, we invited them behind the scenes with curator James Rondeau showing how he planned the installation of the largest retrospective ever devoted to the iconic pop artist.

Engaging content

We designed a content-rich, immersive page that gave visitors the opportunity to dynamically compare Roy Lichtenstein’s sketches with his finished paintings, learn more about his background, and share their reactions to the show.