Step right up! I see you’re intrigued by the bright colors and bold sounds on display here (and the line around the corner doesn’t hurt either). Yes, of course you can take some photos for Instagram! What is this place, you ask—a funhouse? Not quite. It’s a new kind of attraction that’s popping up all over the world: an insta-museum.
What is it?
Definitions vary, but an insta-museum is a temporary activation made up of six to eight multi-sensory rooms and are all “Instagrammable.” Between giant emoji stickers to multicoloured ball pits, these thematic exhibitions are designed to be captured and posted by visitors on various social media channels including YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and more – redefining the traditional museum experience. As consumers become more interested in experiences and less in material goods, they provide a great opportunity for brands to reinvent themselves in a new way that isn’t just about making a sale.
One thing that makes insta-musems distinct from typical PR activations is the length of time they’re open to the public. Instead of a one-day-wonder or quick weekend, insta-museums are generally up for weeks, or even months, requiring publicity campaigns in their own right. Between the duration and the scale, think of them as super-sized versions of traditional experiential events: bigger investment, but potentially bigger rewards.
So why should brands consider creating one of these unconventional art venues?
1. It provides an opportunity to showcase brand identity
The first rule about these selfie-factories is that there are no rules. Brands have the creative freedom to provide high or low-energy activities, ranging from a relaxed tour to jumping into ball pits. A physical space can also help brands connect with their target audience in person and instantly receive valuable feedback on their experience, product and overall brand. As an accessible form of entertainment, these immersive installations provide a space for visitors to become a part of the art and develop a sense of community. Given the limited timeframe, this tactic is ideal to curate a personalized and immersive experience.
2. Brands can marry the digital and experiential
While society’s shift to digital means some traditional museums struggle to increase foot traffic, these insta-museums flourish by blurring the line between virtual and experiential, encouraging audiences to share their interactive visit online by producing user-generated content. This content transcends physical location and provides an organic source of content for brands to push on their own social channels and website. Putting the fun in the phone connects people to visual culture and provides a cost-effective way to reach a wider target audience.
3. It starts conversations for new partnerships
Influencer relations have become a key component of program launches to help spread awareness. This gives brands the freedom to explore and reach out to individuals across all industries to best align with their campaign. Enticing a diverse range of influencers not only in publicizing but co-creating these experiences allows for further reach and creates a multidimensional face for the brand. This strategy can lead to potential earned coverage stemming from authentic experiences that speak to multiple profiles in the target demographic.
4. It spreads team pride and attracts talent
Customers aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun. It takes a creative, dynamic and forward-thinking team to develop these concepts and shows off the talent behind-the-scenes. Executing a successful insta-museum can inspire other industry players and pique interest from potential talent by positioning the brand in a thought-leadership role both in the industry and in the eyes of the future workforce.
5. It’s PR-worthy
Stunning visuals, amazing content creation opportunities and a steady stream of user generated buzz and content will often lead to outlets, publications and media wanting to cover the story. What brand doesn’t want the opportunity to entice media to cover a hot new experience before it becomes mainstream?
If you’re interested in joining the insta-museum trend, consider what kind of layout may be the best fit for your brand. Like any museum, these experiences don’t follow a “one-size fits all” template, so it’s crucial to have a strategy in mind to achieve success. Even though some of these exhibitions may seem repetitive, the right strategy and execution have the potential to offer a unique experience to customers that will surpass any number of likes. Have any questions? Get in touch, we’d love to help!