LOS ANGELES: Hollywood may have to take a back seat to Egypt this summer as an exhibit of King Tut artifacts sparks multiple marketing campaigns that are aiming for international interest.
On June 16th, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will open theTutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit, a traveling exhibit being billed as the largest museum exhibition in the country. LA is the first stop on the attraction's 27-month US tour.
A similar King Tut-themed exhibit visited LA in the '70s, and it attracted more than 1 million visitors, according to Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau associate VP Carol Martinez.
To ensure that Tutankhamun has as many fans this time around, the partnership behind the exhibition is planning an extensive national marketing campaign that includes advertising and PR, according to John Norman, president of Ohio-based Arts and Exhibits International, one of the organizers of the US tour.
"You will start seeing probably a very strong marketing campaign in the beginning of May," said Norman. "This is the biggest exhibit in history."
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which operates the Staples Center and is another partner in the exhibition, has hired Golin/Harris' LA office to run all PR for the US tour.
EVP David Stamper, who acted as lead on the account until earlier this month, said that media response has already been significant, helping to generate more than 500,000 website hits a day after the announcement of the exhibition.
"It is an amazing opportunity driven by the fact that you have this incredible celebrity component of King Tut, plus the chance to shine a spotlight on some of the most unique items ever seen," he said. "It's sort of a slam dunk."
Stamper added that the next phase of the campaign will be a "premiere-esque" opening in June. The main strategy is to remind people of the "cultural phenomenon" that the artifacts engendered when they visited the states almost 30 years ago. The team will also stress that this exhibit may represent the last time they will ever come to the US, he said.
Stamper has since departed Golin. The account is now lead by Laura Calliari, account supervisor.
Norman said Golin was chosen based in part on prior work the firm had done with AEG helping to open its Celine Dion show in Las Vegas. He added, "We interviewed many PR firms for this and [Golin] seemed to really get it. They understand the scope of it."
In addition to formal marketing for the exhibition, the LA Visitors and Convention Bureau is planning its own large campaign to draw tourists to the city.