V&A campaign

Why 'If You're Into It, It's In The V&A' Has Proven Such a Success

Following a haul of six D&AD Pencils, V&A marketer Sophie Rouse discusses the campaign

By Creative Salon

Earlier this year, London-based museum the V&A ran a clever awareness campaign that would showcase the variety of the 2.8 million objects within its permanent collection, as well as the creative history they relay. That campaign was one of the major winners at this year’s D&AD Awards, including two Yellow Pencils.

Created by adam&eveDDB, the “If You’re Into It, It’s in the V&A” campaign aimed to pique the wide interests of the public that its collection crosses over, particularly with younger people.

To activate that message, selected objects were placed in unknown locations across the UK including a century-old silver engraved tankard that was buried in a popular Oxfordshire metal-detecting location. Another was a handmade 2-metre-long battle flag which was displayed by an armoured participant for a battle reenactment group.

The aim was that through the discovery of the items - alongside a QR Code linked to the item - within the V&A collection, enthusiasts would become more interested in seeing more held within the museum.

A mass-media push across OOH, press, digital and social media, showcased 70 objects representing popular passions such as football, music and fashion.

A further stunt took place within the video game platform; Grand Theft Auto Online where campaign messaging was displayed on the clothing of the avatars controlled by TikTok influencer Shlottie and streamed through Twitch.

The campaign went on to pick up six pencils at D&AD this month. Those included two Yellow pencils for Direct/Integrated campaign and Experiential/Use of Micro-Talent and Influencers.

Following the victory, Sophie Rouse, head of integrated marketing and insight at the V&A, shared her thoughts on why the campaign has proven to be such a success.

How does it feel to be the winners of six D&AD pencils spanning six different categories?

Our mission is to champion creativity in all its forms, for everyone – and so we are so proud to have been given this recognition in so many categories, by the world’s most skilled creative practitioners. It's proof to us that we’re doing what we set out to do, living our positioning, with innovation, resourcefulness, and craft. It’s quite over-whelming, but testament to the passion of all the very many people who have contributed, agency side, client side and from our audience too

You won Yellow Pencils in the Direct Integrated and Experiential Use of Micro-Talent & Influencers categories - why do you feel these aspects of the campaign were so well received?

‘If you’re into it’ is such a powerful, simple idea, it's genius is in the way in which it sums up the breadth of what the V&A has to offer, whilst simultaneously giving the audience the ability to interpret it through their own experience, history and creative skills. Our determination is always to enable people to define what creativity is for themselves.

The simple idea is one thing, but this campaign also really hinges on its execution – across channels, across the collection and most importantly in the way it is inherently involving of the audience. Every single object and activation had to be selected, cleared, showcased, and designed with fastidious craft and determination to be representative both of our breadth of the collection and the breadth of the public we serve. The idea remains so central and effective, no matter where it lives, giving space for new creativity in every application, multiplying at every turn – it is wonderful that the Yellow Pencils recognise that.

We are especially proud that the creativity of the micro-talent used in the campaign - from makers to superfans - has been recognised, because our aim is to be a platform for everyone’s skills and creativity, not to hold it as our own.

What do you think made the work with adam&eveDDB so successful?

The agency is a powerhouse of talent and creative ambition, with a commitment to diversity, but most importantly a desire to collaborate. It’s a cliché, but we really are one client and agency team. We draw on all our collective skills – from creatives to curators through to design, production, and strategy – we’re all in it together, and challenge each other constantly. We have worked with adam&eveDDB for a few years now, developing our positioning and our first outing – the film that introduced the positioning – so we’ve now got a collective instinctive understanding of the brand.  

So often museums and other cultural institutions focus on telling their audiences what they should and can do – we’re bringing the human emotional connection – we want people to feel why the V&A is important in their lives – and its clear the D&AD juries could feel it too.  

How might you follow up the success of the campaign now?

The campaign has so much life ahead, we’ve got lots of ideas bubbling for ways to extend it, but the first thing for us to do is work out what’s working and what isn’t to fulfil our mission to bring the V&A to everyone, and we’ll go from there.

There’s so much on the horizon for the V&A, including the opening of V&A East next year when our whole collection comes to Stratford, giving visitors a radically new way to access all the things they’re into. Watch this space.

What has the success of the campaign meant in terms of awareness and visitors?

Again, it’s a bit too early to say – this is a brand investment, so its long burn. But it’s a very good sign when you see people taking their picture with your advertising, when we’ve hit our highest ever performance with an Instagram post and people tell us on social media that they are making a visit because of what they saw. In the initial campaign window, we saw an increase of 23 per cent on V&A searches and a 12,000 per cent increase on featured items in the collection. The positive feeling around the campaign is palpable so it bodes well.




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