14-18 NOW was a five-year programme designed to connect people with the First World War through a series of extraordinary arts experiences. Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery was one such experience; an exhibition of new fashion and film inspired by the huge change in women’s lives and work during the First World War. With contributions from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Sadie Williams and SHOWstudio, 14-18 NOW identified this commission as an opportunity to connect with younger audiences.
We came on board and created an innovative marketing campaign which both raised the profile of the exhibition in Manchester’s cultural calendar and worked extra hard to reach those younger audiences. Working closely with Manchester Art Gallery’s staff, we helped maximise their existing communications strengths and identify opportunities to try new things.
We wanted to bring the Gallery’s existing audiences closer to the artists, and new audiences into the Gallery. Collaborating with SHOWstudio and designer Sadie Williams, a series of Instagram takeovers were curated to showcase the outstanding work of the artists and the story behind it. Sharing this exclusive digital content with the Gallery’s followers as well as SHOWstudio’s and Sadie’s brought it to wider and more diverse audiences than we could working in isolation.
Supporting the in-house Gallery team to create an overarching marketing campaign targeting different types of audiences and new routes to market helped to build confidence internally to try new ways of working, on limited resources.
14-18 NOW subsequently asked us to work on the campaign to promote the Poppies: Weeping Window at Imperial War Museum North to local audiences and it is now going to be housed at the museum permanently.
Manchester Art Gallery will soon open a new gallery devoted to fashion showcasing their impressive collection previously housed at their Gallery of English Costume.
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