Agencies are helping museum clients redefine experiences for visitors in creative and technologically advanced projects as they prepare for the post-pandemic “new normal.”
During the early days of COVID-19, digital agency NeoPangea reached out to Philadelphia’s National Liberty Museum (PNLM) to help accelerate its digital transformation during a time when most cultural institutions thought of a touchscreen in an exhibit as a digital leap forward.
The digital agency provided pro bono consulting work to several museums and cultural institutions.
PNLM, in particular, sparked their enthusiasm.“We felt this was a great opportunity to use our skills to help a struggling museum and new artists, who have also been hit hard,” explains Brett Bagenstose, founder and creative director at NeoPangea.
A PNLM exhibit features 75 works of art from 50 Philadelphia artists along with recorded audio to act as a guide for the online audience. To make it touch-free and interactive, NeoPangea installed QR codes that send museum visitors to a microsite that shows artist background and has audio clips about the pieces from the artists.
The project was always planned as a reciprocal digital experience, states Bagenstose, meaning, visitors who could not attend would get a sampling of the experience online, without replicating the in-person exhibit. However, people who could attend the in-person exhibit could dive deeper into extended content by scanning the QR codes on selected work.
Meanwhile, the VIA Agency is mimicking MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) to support the United Way of Greater Portland (UWGP) through a museum-like digital experience.
The “Closer Look” virtual museum tour attempts to transform statistics and data points into striking visuals and immersive soundscapes to help viewers better understand poverty in the Maine city.
This project was a creative answer to the disruption of UWGP’s traditional methods of fundraising and community outreach. Although the platform was designed for Greater Portland, the hope is to replicate it in other markets.
Lastly, Wieden+Kennedy joined forces with Fisher-Price to develop The Toy Museum, a first-of-its-kind virtual experience that offers more than 90 curated exhibitions of classic Fisher-Price toys from the past nine decades. Exhibits include Snoopy Sniffer, which launched in 1938, and sits atop a fabricated slice of blueberry pie to the Roller Skates, which were first introduced in 1983 and are showcased in a miniature roller-skating rink.
Accompanying the Instagram-hosted museum is a gift shop offering 16 products, including a Doctor Doodle T-shirt, Space Blazer socks, shoelaces featuring the brand’s classic roller skates and a lunchbox with imagery of vintage Little People figures.