The Horniman walrus’s mammoth trip to Margate is in the running for an award for best marketing campaign, alongside three other shortlisted communications award entries for the Horniman.
Our one-ton taxidermy icon was loaned to Turner Contemporary in May last year, as the centrepiece of the exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, and the Horniman’s campaign has been shortlisted in the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence.
Highlights of the ‘Walrus on the Move’ campaign, which aimed to celebrate the loan and offer walrus fans a way to keep in touch, included:
- a video of the walrus being packed and moved, which has been viewed more than 2,000 times
- a ‘walrus wall’ in the Natural History Gallery, where visitors could write postcards to the walrus
- regular tweets from @HornimanWalrus himself to his Twitter followers
- a competition for the best holiday photos featuring toy Horniman walruses
‘Letting the walrus visit another museum was a huge undertaking for us, and communicating it well was vital. We knew our regular visitors would miss him, so above all we wanted them to join in and enjoy the walrus being on holiday.’ - Victoria Pinnington, Director of Communications
The marketing campaign also aimed to deepen understanding of the historic taxidermy specimen and the rest of the Natural History collection, and to attract visitors from Kent and the South East. During the campaign overall visitor numbers rose by 12% with the number from South East England rising by 81%.
The Horniman also increased its social media presence through the campaign, with 58% more Twitter followers and a 35% increase in website visits.
The Horniman’s communications are also currently shortlisted for three other awards:
- in the Shorty Awards’ #Museums category
- in the Best of the Web Awards’ social media category, for the Horniman’s tumblr account
- and in the Best of the Web Awards’ long lived category for its wider digital communications
‘These nominations are testament to the hard work and creativity of the communications team, and the efforts of all our staff to put engagement with our visitors at the heart of what we do, both online and off.’ - Victoria Pinnington