Based in Bradford, the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television is the most visited national museum outside London, attracting almost one million visitors each year.
To celebrate 40 years of James Bond films the museum created an exhibition in partnership with Eon Productions, producer of all 20 Bond films over 40 years. The exhibition ran for six months in Bradford before embarking on an international tour.
To maintain an intellectual authority while capitalising on the iconic status of Bond to appeal to a popular audience (it was important to balance both concerns, given its status as a national institution). To generate coverage to attract 50,000 exhibition visitors and establish a reputation for the museum as a creator of its own exhibitions. To draw major media attention to the region.
Strategy and Plan
The campaign began in January 2002 with a press release and parallel launch of an interactive website featuring a dedicated press desk.
A global launch began in February with the issue of credit card-sized electronic press disks inviting journalists to become a secret agent and investigate the exhibition.
Local and regional media were invited to photo-calls that included Bond Girl outfits and an Aston Martin DB5.
A media launch the day before the opening featured special guests, including Eunice Gayson, the first ever Bond girl, and Michael Wilson, executive producer/director of new Bond film 'Die Another Day' and stepson of Cubby Broccoli, who produced the first Bond film. The exhibition was officially opened to 400 invited guests at a black-tie cocktail and casino party that evening.
Stage three of the campaign was designed to build and maintain media and public interest with a schedule comprising script-to-screen events, where guests including Richard Keil - aka 'Jaws' - were invited to do stage interviews. A range of TV, radio and press competitions offered prizes including tours of the Bond set at Pinewood Studios.
Measurement and Evaluation
The exhibition secured worldwide coverage and was picked up by print and broadcast media in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US. Articles ran in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Express, The Daily Star, and Vogue.
Women's Hour and Radio 1 presented editorial endorsement and interviews, while local and regional radio and press provided constant coverage throughout.
Visitor and income targets were exceeded, with a 14 per cent increase in tickets sold, while-face-to face interviews revealed that 70 per cent of visitors had been made aware of the exhibition through print and broadcast media. The website attracted 8,000 hits before the exhibition opened, and 130,000 hits during its Bradford run.