Q&A: If you’re into it, it’s in the V&A

A brief chat with the creative minds behind the museum’s new campaign

No matter how mainstream or niche, If you’re into it, it’s in the V&A, states a new campaign from adam&eveDDB for the UK’s leading applied arts, decorative arts and design museum.

To drive home the point that the V&A’s eclectic collection encompasses passions of all kinds, the agency partnered with skilled creators to create dozens of objects hidden across the country in relevant locations and contexts. The activation is accompanied by a collaboration with niche Instagram influencers, TikTok films, as well as ad placements across OOH, press, digital and social media.

MediaCat Magazine spoke to adam&eveDDB Creative Director Mark Shanley and Planning Director Stuart Williams about the campaign.

What was the brief and how did the idea come about? What does it aim to achieve?

Stuart Williams: The brief was to drive re-appraisal of the V&A amongst 18-34-year-olds. The majority of this audience are aware of the V&A but only 19% said they were familiar with what the V&A stands for. To turn this around, we needed to show how relevant the V&A is to our audience’s lives. Our idea — ‘If you’re into it, it’s in the V&A’ — aims to show no matter what you’re in to, you’ll find something for you in the museum.

To cement the message of the campaign you collaborated with creators to produce unique objects to be placed around the UK. How were the objects and the collaborators picked?

Mark Shanley: The objects were selected through a huge collaborative effort between us at the agency, the client and the various curators in charge of different collections at the museum. There was a lot of back and forth as it was crucial for us to ensure we covered a huge range of interests.

Then, when it came to selecting the creators to partner with, on that element of the campaign we wanted to have a diverse and inclusive roster of creators. They each needed to have their own engaged following, be they large or small, within their niche.

Have any of the objects been discovered?

MS: Yes, actually, quite a few! I saw a t-shirt we donated to a charity shop posted on Instagram the other day. And the engraved silver tankard we buried at a metal detecting hotspot was found too. There was really no telling whether that one would be found this year or in a hundred years. And that’s OK, because in a hundred years If you’re into it, it’s in the V&A will still be true.

You created various beautifully crafted, copy-heavy posters for the campaign. Can you talk a little bit about the creative process behind these?

MS: It started with in-depth research from the creatives, Xander Hart and Edward Usher. Each execution is a real story, which Edward then brought to life in this beautiful, second-person meandering stream of consciousness that evokes the feeling of wandering around the museum and stumbling on something that makes you feel something. Writing for press like this is something of a lost art these days so we wanted to make sure these were worthy of the V&A.

Then, Xander’s art direction echoes a column in a paper or magazine that leads the eye neatly to the object in question, punctuating the piece with the particular item that inspired each story.

Why does the campaign lean heavily into niche communities?

SW: The ethos of the campaign is to be radically inclusive, showing how anyone and everyone will find something they’re into in the V&A. Some executions lean into mass passion points — like football or music — but, to ensure that we’re really including everyone, other executions lean into very niche and specific communities — like mud-larkers or Warhammer enthusiasts. By spanning this range of passion points — from the most popular to the most niche — we can feel confident that the campaign will talk to and include everyone.

What are the next steps for the campaign?

SW: We have developed a platform that can run and run. We’ll use it to give the V&A a point of view on cultural talking points, finding ever more surprising ways to tap into the things our audience are into.

Featured image: If you’re into it, it’s in the V&A campaign

Nazli Selin Ozkan, Head of Content & Partnerships at MediaCat Magazine

Selin is Business Editor at MediaCat Magazine. After graduating from Duke University with a degree on political science, she started working at the content department at Kapital Media, working on events such as Brand Week Istanbul and Digital Age Tech Summit. She took on the role of Business Development Manager at Kapital Media, working on Kapital Media's several products, such as MediaCat Magazine, Polaris Awards, Brand Week Istanbul and Digital Age Tech Summit. She regularly contributes to MediaCat Magazine, covering media and tech.

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