The National Museums of World Culture (Världskulturmuseerna) is a Government agency under the Ministry of Culture with activities at five locations in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The National Museums of World Culture is responsible for displaying and bringing to life the various cultures of our world, in particular cultures outside of Sweden. The museums shall contribute to the use of cultural heritage as an active force in promoting sustainable global development. The ambition is that the museums and the web will be meeting places for knowledge and dialogue where you experience the diversity of the world - historically and in the present.
In September 2015, the National Museums of World Culture launched the exhibition ”Cosmopolitan metropolis along the silk road” (Staden vid sidenvägen) in the underground exhibition hall Bergrummet at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm. The exhibition showed new archaeological objects from the Tang Dynasty, which have never been shown outside China. The brief was to launch the exhibition by developing an idea and campaign concept that would highlight the global cultural heritage and show how the past is connected to today; positive effects of migration, integration, diversity, East-West meetings, the role of women in society and the importance of religion. The mission was to create interest in Tang as one of the world's largest and multicultural cities in modern times and provide insight into how a multicultural society contributed to China's development during the Tang Dynasty (China's Golden Age).
The target audience:
A broad audience, many with a small knowledge of Chinese history. Although the Tang Dynasty is one of China's more famous dynasties, it is still not known to the great public. An important target audience is families with children ages 8 to 12 years old.
Change the audience's attitude towards the museum and thereby attracting new visitors to reach the target of 30,000 paying visitors (entrance fee 150 SEK, free admission until 18 years) throughout the exhibition period (11 September 2015 to 28 February 2016). Increase the number of visitors on the museum’s website and visitor/interaction on social media. Provide knowledge and perspective in the public debate through visibility in editorial media, blogs, social media, etc.
In order to get the target audience to quickly see the benefits of the exhibition in their daily lives, we chose to drop into a current topic with an already established engagement and link it with the benefits of the exhibition. At a time when xenophobia and polarizations in society increase, the National Museums of World Culture have a central role to play by showing how diversity enriches and throughout the ages has been a prerequisite for the development of many cultures.
We made 1400 years of history topical by linking the museum’s mission, values and the purpose of the exhibition with the hot topics of today: immigration, integration, multiculturalism, world religions, feminism and the role of women in society. We participated in the public debate with sensible and somewhat political headlines, thereby creating a great engagement to the exhibition and historical learning.
With the objective of increasing the engagement even beyond our usual visitors, we chose to work actively with social media, in addition to print, OOH, online (banners triggered by most current issues) and PR. We developed a social media strategy and selected, processed and negotiated with five influencers and made tailored messages to each influencer.
Based on the audience surveys conducted in 2015, the National Museums of World Culture made the assessment that the quality of public activity remains high. During the planning of the exhibition, the children's perspective was constantly in focus, which led to the fact that most visits took place in association with the family.
During 2015, the National Museums of World Culture received a total of 3,274 social media referrals - an increase of 64 percent compared with 2014. Digital visits to social media increased significantly during the year. The number of followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as YouTube video views increased by 35 percent, from 49,883 visits in 2014 to 67,292 visits in 2015. The museum’s website and blogs increased visitor numbers during the year, from 561,770 visits in 2014 to 625,532 visits in 2015, an increase of 11 percent.
Of all the events associated with the five exhibition halls of the National Museums of World Culture, ”Cosmopolitan metropolis along the silk road” was one of the most popular events in the media during the year. The exhibition was praised by both Svenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter. The critics specifically pointed to the fact that several of the objects were linked directly to the political story and that the exhibition through poetry and personal stories gave life to the objects and focused on women's history. In September 2015, it was ranked as the best cultural event of the week in Dagens Nyheter. The National Museums of World Cultures in Bergrummet had great visibility in the media in 2015 with 193 articles and media stories. The estimated value of media coverage for Bergrummet amounted to 21,754,456 SEK with a range of 30,830,870 persons.