Where's Clifford? Helping Children's Museum

Share this content:
The Chicago Children's Museum is using a grassroots and direct marketing effort to create awareness and drive family memberships.


The pro bono DM campaign by Wunderman Chicago uses animated character Clifford the Big Red Dog to target parents with children ages 4-7. The campaign is called "Have you seen Clifford?"


"The strategy is to market the museum and membership drive by touting the arrival of the new 'Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog' exhibit," said Debbie McKean, vice president and group account director at Wunderman Chicago.


DM channels are used to offer an invitation to a party for new members with appearances by Clifford and Emily Elizabeth, the little girl who is the dog's owner.


Homespun-like fliers ask, "Have you seen our dog?" Copy goes on to state: "20 feet tall. 780lbs. Bright red fur. Answers to the name Clifford."


The fliers are taped in areas frequented by parents with young children, such as parks, daycare centers, grocery stores and coffee shops. A telephone number and site at www.chichildrensmuseum.org give prospects information on membership, the exhibit and party. The exhibit began Oct. 16 and runs until Jan. 17.


Classified ads with the same information as the flier will appear in local Chicago newspapers. A supporting mail piece is designed to look like the flier. Copy includes an exclusive invitation to a new members party with Clifford and mentions a reward for new members.


The reward is a special edition of the Chicago Children's Museum newspaper. In it are instructions on how to make a paper hat and an "I spotted Clifford" member sticker. Museum membership and new exhibit information are added. Members will get this publication at the party set for Dec. 3.


The campaign is unique for the museum in terms of the choice of channels and the message.


"This is the first time for a membership drive that the museum has done an integrated marketing campaign, and it is also the first time the museum has used the opening of a new exhibit as the main message in the campaign," McKean said. "The museum [typically] has done the traditional three-tiered mailings to people who have shown interest. It is also the first time they have purchased a list for the mailing."


Wunderman Chicago ran a ZIP density analysis of current members to see where the lion's share came from. It then bought names in those areas.


"One of the big challenges for the museum's membership drives is the 'why now?' in terms of getting people to respond," McKean said. "It is the main reason we developed the new member incentive party as a means to get people off the fence."


Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above