Off-the-Wall Integrated Campaign Makes Museum Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Award Winner

National Law Enforcement Museum

Chances are you don’t mind paying for experiences. From gourmet cooking classes to trapeze school, today’s culture is more about making memories than acquiring material goods. But in a city that’s saturated with high-quality, no-cost cultural experiences what would make you want to visit a fee-based museum? That’s exactly what the National Law Enforcement Museum (NLEM) tasked U.Group with figuring out. 

Awards & Recognition

  • 2020 AIGA 50 Awards
    True Law and Crimes (Un)Cased Campaigns
  • 2019 MarCom Awards
    Platinum for Integrated Marketing

Services

  • Advisory & Support Services
  • Branding
  • Integrated Marketing

Challenge

Beyond the private museum’s obvious cost constraints and off-the-beaten-path location, NLEM was in the midst of an identity crisis. The heated political climate of the time drew heightened attention to our country’s criminal justice system—and the museum’s brand image took a hit. U.Group had the unique challenge of increasing NLEM ticket sales and expanding brand awareness outside of law enforcement circles without polarizing the general public. We knew we’d have to strike a delicate balance between promoting the museum’s content while simultaneously making the message about more than the NLEM name itself. 

Solution

Using media insights that showed the popularity of crime documentaries and podcasts, we launched a cross-platform awareness campaign targeting DC-area heads of households that placed emphasis on the untold stories behind some of our country’s most renowned criminal cases. This campaign successfully shifted attention from the museum’s name to the experiences within its walls. 

Under the newly dubbed ‘True Law’ platform, we then launched an award-winning engagement campaign, ‘Crimes (Un)Cased.’ With elements of guerilla marketing, media relations, TV, radio, and out of home advertising, audiences were prompted to visit the museum for an immersive crime-solving, scavenger hunt experience. Visitors had the chance to win $25,000 by using clues planted throughout the museum to catch the fictional Queen of Diamonds.

Result

The Crimes (Un)Cased media event alone drew nearly 30 local influencers and journalists, and resulted in several mentions by top national and local outlets including the Associated Press and CBS Washington. Most importantly, together the two campaigns catalyzed a significant boost in ticket sales. By using smart, tailored marketing tactics NLEM’s target audiences successfully converted to paid customers and learned a little something about our country’s most influential officers in the process.