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Chicago's Field Museum marshals high interactivity with mobile campaign

The Field Museum of Chicago's recent mobile campaign generated higher-than-average NFC and QR code interactions.

The natural history museum had guests use their smartphones to engage with brand content appearing on signage away from the museum. The Field Museum worked with Blue Bite, which offers mobile out-of-home solutions, and DDB Worldwide to develop the "1893 World's Fair Exhibit" campaign.

"The Field Museum wanted to promote its newest 1893 World?s Fair Exhibit, as well as its updated mobile app with additional features, allowing users to stay in touch with The Field Museum and have a more engaging experience when visiting the museum," said Mikhail Damiani, CEO and cofounder at Blue Bite, New York.

"Mobile was an integral part of the strategy with the goal of getting users to download The Field Museum mobile app," he said. "As opposed to just being an afterthought or bolt-on to an existing campaign, mobile was woven through the entire strategy.

Campaign signage and mobile app view

High engagement

The month-long campaign in November generated 60 percent more mobile engagements than any comparable out-of-home Blue Bite campaigns in Chicago to date, according to Mr. Damiani.

The campaign's signs showed the back of a person's head. The person appeared to be looking toward a place or event in Chicago 1893.

The ad copy read: "See What They Saw," enticing passersby to engage via their smartphones.

People with an NFC-enabled smartphone could tap their phone on the signage to instantly download the museum's application. Users without an NFC-enabled phone could snap a picture of the signage's QR code to access the same content.

The Field Museum app featured a 360-degree view of the sign's scene. Users could save pictures and share them via social media.

The campaign placed signs at bus shelters, transit platforms and inside trains and buses. Some magazines also featured campaign ads, which included the QR codes and encouraged readers to download The Field Museum app and explore Chicago.

The Field Museum mobile app

Enriching experience
Adding mobile engagement to marketing already being delivered on the out-of-home network gives advertisers a way to make their ads more interactive and drive engagement levels.

"One of the challenges we face in many of these campaigns is incorporating the mobile engagement into the physical media in a way that doesn?t fight with the creative, especially in a campaign like this, where the copy is so artistically crafted," Mr. Damiani said.

"We have to find a balance between having a visible and obvious mobile call-to-action with the QR code and NFC that will get users to engage, while at the same time preserving the impact and style of the underlying creative," Mr. Damiani said. "I think we achieved a perfect balance in this case."

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York