Come along and hear about the journey we took with the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada as we developed a grand opening campaign for their totally reimagined new museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC) was originally built in 1974 with a goal of sharing and preserving Canada’s aviation history including some of the country’s most noteworthy and historic aircraft. It has been an award-winning attraction since inception. In 2014, the Museum was given the “Royal” designation, and in 2018 the Museum closed its doors to begin building its brand new state-of-the-art facility, located at Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.
The new RAMWC opened in 2022. It’s a world-class facility that offers 86,000 square feet of engaging, entertaining and educational experiences focused on Canada’s aviation and aerospace heritage – with a special focus on Manitoba’s flight history, as the province played a significant role in the development of aviation across Canada.
The RAMWC team first approached Metric in 2019 to talk about the need for a digital campaign surrounding the Museum’s grand opening – building interest and excitement, spreading the word about the opening date, and engaging multiple target audiences to purchase a membership or plan a visit.
The Museum needed to find a platform that would engage multiple different audiences, including:
Flight Fanatics: A diverse group of true aviation buffs who are interested in flight, science, and technology
Engaged Traditionalists: A mostly-older group of people who are interested in history, museums, and local connections
Wired & Connected Parents: The moms (and sometimes dads) who are looking for places to spend a great family day
Each audience would be interested in Museum news, but for very different reasons. We’d need to find a way to engage them all – both separately and together (a perfect case for audience profiles, customer journeys, targeted digital strategy and a truly great creative concept). The big idea for the digital campaign would also need to extend and work well for traditional advertising placements, be adaptable enough to carry both pre- and post-grand opening messages, and be strong enough to compete against the many other options for entertaining and educational places to go in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
In the background, we were also working on an email strategy to engage people while the museum was closed, as they geared up for opening, and post-opening as an ongoing marketing strategy.
Partnering with the RAMWC team, we created a campaign that built off the existing creative that ran during their closure and construction – but created a new energy.
The RAMWC is a place where aviation history and exciting artifacts meet modern technology and engaging exhibits, brought together in an instantly recognizable building near Winnipeg’s international airport. We wanted our concepts to build off this idea of old meeting new – history landing in our modern city – in a way that would engage target audiences ranging from flight fanatics to Manitoba families and visitors to our city.
Our design solution highlighted some familiar images (the museum’s showstopper historic planes) set against the gorgeous new Museum building – instantly iconic and recognizable within the city.
We wanted to ensure the primary focus was on the planes – the biggest draw to the new museum. Each ad placement featured different aircraft, chosen for their popularity and significance to each audience. We used photography of these planes and edited them to be duotone – both for consistency and for visual impact.
To keep building recognition for the brand overall, we really leaned on brand elements to bring the concept to life – from colours to fonts to design elements like the place that broke the red frame. We added a subtle layer of map detail to the red background for visual interest.
We included a hint of the new building to create a connection with the already-recognizable new location – building some recognition and curiosity without giving it all away.
The headlines remained consistent throughout the campaign, but we were able to change the supporting copy to speak to different audiences at different times. Throughout the campaign, this copy changed to feature opening dates, earlybird membership pricing, and more.
We ran targeted digital ads for awareness and remarketing on Google and Meta (including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) – matching messaging to audiences at different stages of the customer journey. The digital campaign was complemented by a traditional ad buy that included static and digital billboards throughout the city, with a focus on key neighbourhoods and demographics.
The new Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada opened to the public on May 21, 2022. Since then, the Museum has welcomed more than 60,000 visitors – including more than 4,500 students (as of February 2023).
To match those strong opening traffic numbers, we also saw some impressive digital ad > website campaign-driven results, including:
New users have increased by 745%
Page views have surged by 816%
We’ve seen a 20% increase in sessions per user, resulting in a total increase of 880% sessions
The number of users from social media channels has increased by 380% – more specifically, there’s been a 428% increase in users from Facebook, a 42% increase from LinkedIn, and a 195% increase from Twitter