Wellcome Collection: Smoke & Mirrors integrated campaign

The Psychology of Magic

The Wellcome Collection wanted to promote its blockbuster exhibition Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic. In the heart of London and a busy exhibition sphere, Wellcome Collection needed to create a standout campaign to attract visitors to their exhibition space.

We created a digital campaign to run alongside Wellcome Collection’s London-based out of home advertising, undertaken by AKA agency. Wellcome Collection was looking to utilise their existing static creative developed in-house and curate an engaging and dynamic campaign to drive awareness, traffic to the site and ultimately gallery footfall in an effective integrated campaign.

Display – Skyscraper

Our digital campaign was centred upon the exhibition structure, and the objects displayed within each section. The campaign was structured to separate the two audiences identified by Wellcome Collection’s audience research. As the two audiences were at the heart of the campaign, we curated messaging which would engage them based upon our audience research.

We ran our campaign across Google Display, Facebook and Instagram and sent traffic to the exhibition landing page. We created a number of elements including skyscraper adverts, MPU, leaderboard adverts and social stories. We worked in partnership with AKA to provide a seamless campaign that covered digital, outdoor and print for the Smoke & Mirrors exhibition.

Display – MPU

Our creative team focussed on individual items within each section of the exhibition, aiming to showcase the wide variety of objects curated by the museum. In a process involving Wellcome Collection’s design and curatorial teams, our designers sketched and then designed digital ads which were founded on the static out of home banners.

Display – Leaderboard

They also used Sketch, Photoshop and Google Web Designer to animate their artboards, bringing dynamism to our ad campaign and allowing our target audience to have an abstract insight into what the exhibition entailed.

Social – Stories

In total, our display campaigns generated 2,274,518 impressions and 6,990 clicks. Our paid social campaigns achieved 3,240,359 impressions and 22,906 clicks. Facebook and Instagram channels worked very differently with these audiences. We found that Instagram was the most efficient in generating awareness, holding most of the impressions (2.3 million). However, Facebook had a far stronger CTR at 1.60%.


Overall, there was a footfall target of 121,299 for the Smoke and Mirrors campaign. The integrated marketing campaign helped track a footfall of 175,147 (+44%).

There was an overall target of 65,000 unique pageviews. By the end of the campaign, the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition landing page had 316,905 unique page views (+388%). 25,603 of these unique page views were from our paid media campaigns.


The integrated approach to the campaign clearly demonstrated that increased activity OOH and digitally correlated to an increase in page views and visitor figures. When OOH activity was paused, AKA had an always-on approach to cheap display advertising to prevent significant visitor drop off rates. The three-fold tactic of digital, print and outdoor helped achieve a staggering 44% uplift in footfall to the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition.

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