A Museum Billboard/Radio Mashup We Can Learn From

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A Museum Billboard/Radio Mashup We Can Learn From

Mar 7, 2018 by Mark Maier

Radio and Billboards.  Are they innovative mediums?  Jacobs Media reports that in Abu Dhabi they sure are...

"The Louvre – has pulled off a clever, and effective media innovation.

Yes, that Louvre.  It opened last November in the Arab world, but attendance has so far been less robust that expected.  In Paris, that same museum has no trouble attracting millions of locals and even more tourists each year.  The Louvre in Paris is an iconic culture magnet, on just about every visitor to the city’s must-see list.

Not so much in Abu Dhabi, where the culture isn’t as primed to go to museums as Europeans or North Americans.

And so as part of U.A.E. Innovation month, the museum decided to try something different – the “Highway Gallery.”  They launched billboards plastered with 10 major classic artworks along the main thorughfares in the city.

In and of itself, that’s not a very novel campaign.  So to complete the experience, the billboards are accompanied by guided tours – ON THE RADIO.  Three FM radio stations are being used to provide the story behind the art, the very first guided museum tour on a highway. FM jammers interrupt the music on these stations when you drive by one of the boards.

Given that consumers weren’t visiting the Louvre in droves, the museum boldly decided to take the museum to drivers in an effort to generate more interest in the classic art experience.

This innovative audio-video-mobile mashup shows what can be done with old school media like FM radio and highway billboards.  And it should   serve us a reminder to us here in the States that we don’t often make the best use of the materials, knowledge, and expertise we have right in front of us.

This inventive, creative effort also proves what can be done when we turn our imaginations on, and turn our reality on its side.

How many “loser FMs” and HD2 channels are going to waste or playing a duplicated format when they could be used for more creative and marketing focused purposes?

How many public radio stations trying to generate new cume from seemingly disinterested audiences could benefit from a novel sampling program like this one?

How many radio stations are taking real advantage of captive commuters in the one environment where we have their attention – cars?

This campaign’s effectiveness will be easily measurable by tracking attendance and new membership.  But it could also be even more attributable to the radio and billboard campaign by embedding a keyword in the audio message (like “traffic” or “radio”), triggering a discount at the Louvre.

No, it’s not a digital solution.  But it is a fascinating way to combine two traditional media into a melange that’s truly different and just might make you look up from the monotony of that morning commute to take notice of something truly artistic.

Innovation comes in all sorts of packages, forms, and yes, media."

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