The Radical Nude was the first ever museum show in the UK devoted entirely to the work of Egon Schiele. We were briefed to create multi-channel marketing communications that would challenge existing audiences, reach out to new ones and encourage dialogue. The creative brief for marketing this exhibition was born out of a restriction from London Underground that would not allow a full nude to be shown on the public transport network. With a key part of the marketing strategy resting on an outdoor marketing campaign in London, we had to work within the limitations of advertising standards, whilst leading with one of Schiele’s famous nudes.

What we did
This principal of censorship as a main criteria of the brief lead the resulting campaign, which uses a practical censor strip device, synonymous with hiding nudity. Schiele himself was a radical, controversial artist and his works are erotic, graphic, provocative and sometimes explicit. The angular censor strip lends itself to Schiele’s sometimes awkward style, whilst fulfilling a practical necessity to cover up parts of the work. The device was flexible enough to be used across all elements of the marketing mix in multiple placements and allowed for more of the nude to be revealed, the closer the audience got to the gallery.

The exhibition saw 99,299 visitors in 88 days which represents 35% of all visitors to the gallery that year and far exceeded the projected target of 90,000 with over 17,000 attending in the first two weeks. The campaign also fulfilled the objective of reaching beyond traditional audiences, encouraging first time visitors and raising awareness of the gallery, particularly to a younger demographic. We are delighted that the work has been shortlisted in the marketing category for the Museums and Heritage Awards for 2016. The winners will be announced in May.