Creating a digital campaign that explored the bonds of friendship between Wales and Japan, driving visitors to 'Kizuna', a UK-exclusive exhibition of Japanese art and artefacts.  

  • Achieve visitor numbers in excess of 40,000 between June and September 2018
  • To achieve over 100,000 Twitter impressions
  • To achieve over 10,000 Facebook impressions
  • Final visitor figures were 52,000
  • Total Twitter impressions were 199,169
  • Total Facebook impressions were 243,324
Total exhibition visitors
Twitter impressions
Facebook impressions
Overall Facebook and Twitter likes
How we did it?

The Campaign

Over the summer of 2018, National Museum Cardiff was to host one of the biggest Japanese exhibitions ever held in the UK with many never before seen artefacts.

Kizuna, meaning ‘the bonds of friendship’ in Japanese, would tell the story of the links between Wales and Japan via art, design and the rich history of the artefacts on display.

Our brief was to design and deliver a digital communications campaign to promote the Kizuna exhibition in the days running up to the launch and throughout the summer. The campaign would launch the exhibition, promote it to potential visitors, engage a digital audience and, in a summer where temperatures soared, ultimately get people through the Museum doors to experience it for themselves.


How We Did It

Promo video – The City of Red and White

To launch the exhibition, our in-house video team created a striking visual promo that transformed Cardiff's most recognisable areas into a landscape of red and white, reflecting the colours of the Japanese flag. We captured Bute Park, Cardiff Castle, National War Memorial, and the Museum itself and graded them in infrared to create a colour palate of shades of red and white. 

We used drone footage of areas of the city – with a mix of park and urban locations side by side - and overlaid graphics over bus advertising containing key information about the exhibition.

As well as the short promo, we utilised high resolution images from the footage to share with influencers to bring awareness to the exhibition.  


Social animations - telling the story of four key artefacts

We knew Kizuna was going to be exhibiting several artefacts that had never been seen before in the UK, many which were travelling from Japan to Cardiff. We wanted to bring the individual stories of these artefacts to life, giving social media scrollers small tasters of what they could see with their own eyes at the exhibition – and why these artefacts are so significant.

In a comic strip style, paying homage to one of Japan’s most prominent design styles of recent times – manga – we created four animated posts for each artefact, each revealing a little more about the story behind this piece.

We utilised the ‘reply’ function on Twitter which meant the story would appear on timelines as a thread, enhancing the storytelling theme, releasing one post per day through Monday-Thursday. For Friday’s post, we created a video combining all posts which was used on Twitter and Facebook.

We stuck closely to the brand colours throughout our designs to fit alongside other branding assets already created, picking out the striking pink and yellow brand colours throughout.

Key messaging accompanied each post including Kizuna being the UK’s biggest exhibition about Japanese art and design, it being a free exhibition, as well as essential information about opening dates.

We produced the social posts in Welsh, Japanese and English.

Kizuna was nominated for a national Marketing Excellence Awards by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the Innovation – Not-for-profit/Public Sector category.