100 Years, 80 Works, 1 Gallery

In recent years, the Vancouver Art Gallery has undergone a dramatic transformation, putting it on the map as an edgy, contemporary art gallery and a thriving center of the city’s arts and culture scene.

Challenge

The Vancouver Art Gallery wanted to educate the public about its 75-year history of community contributions, broaden its appeal to a wider demographic and increase membership and attendance. The Gallery hired Kaldor to increase the brand profile of the museum and its exhibitions.

Thinking

Emphasizing the Gallery’s history as a pillar in our community, we created a “This is your gallery” theme and a year-long advertising campaign to support the new positioning. With the recent Monet to Dali exhibition, we understood that the sheer number of big-name artists would be the immediate selling point. The marketing materials featured the artists’ names and reinforced their significance with the line “100 years, 80 works, 1 gallery.”

Results

Our branding work with the Gallery and its exhibitions has resulted in the Gallery becoming known as the premier museum of Western Canada. Monet to Dali set new attendance records with over 220,000 visitors, more than double its previous summer attendance record, as well as attracting nearly as many new members as the whole of the previous year. Director Kathleen Bartels was quoted as attributing the record numbers to both the quality of the art and the marketing campaign.

A unique crop of Henri Fantin-Latour’s famous painting became the signature campaign image.
The artistic works featured in WACK! are among the most risqué pieces to emerge from the convergence of art and feminist thought in the late 1960s and 1970s. Kaldor understood that the WACK! marketing campaign needed to be equally provocative in order to strategically align with the messages communicated in the show.
In all of our work with the Gallery, we ensured that the marketing materials produced were in line with the Gallery’s brand aesthetic, while giving prominence to images of the art that would ultimately inspire people to visit the Gallery.
The photography, artist and subject matter needed to be the primary heroes of the campaign, so we let Herzog’s images do most of the heavy lifting.