Curiouser And Curiouser

X marks the spot on a treasure map to find buried treasure, but what does an array of mysterious question marks lead to? Curiosity.

The Franklin Institute underwent a top-secret rebranding campaign that its own employees were unaware of.

The Philadelphia-based museum has seen a spike in attendance and recognition as of late, thanks to popular exhibits such as Bodyworlds, King Tut and Star Wars.

On May 8, employees walking the halls of The Franklin Institute found question marks everywhere: I'm talking about throughout the hallways, on elevator buttons, directional signage, vending machines and bathroom doors.

Red Tettemer created the campaign, going into the museum after hours to execute it on the DL. Watch a video here to see how it was done.

Employees received T-shirts that change messages when they warm up (I think I had a shirt like this when I was a kid), chocolates and postcards, even pretzels in the shape of question marks, as added treats.

And that was just the first phase. What I like about this campaign is it began in-house, getting employees excited and revved up about the rebranding before the museum took the campaign to the streets.

Then question marks materialized on dogs, shaved heads, in the grass at LOVE Park, Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square, and projected videos ran on the PECO Building and the Cira Center in a three-week city campaign. All campaign elements drive viewers to a curious microsite.

The microsite consists of clickable question marks that showcase offerings at the museum. Clicking on the skull and swords reveals the museums' new exhibition, Real Pirates, running from May 31- Nov. 2.

According to the site, the exhibition tells "the true story of the Whydah, a pirate ship that was found off the coast of Cape Cod in 1984 by underwater explorer Barry Clifford."

The exhibit features a full-sized replica of the ship, along with coins, cannons, knives and jewelry salvaged from the ship.
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