Chicago-based art museum calls out to lovers

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago is working with mobile services firm Cellit Mobile Marketing to call patrons into special events in the museum.

In a move to increase visitors to its First Friday event on February 1, the busiest First Friday of the year, the museum cre­ated a special interactive event around the mobile phone and the art gallery space, called the Digital Post Office of Love, which drew 2,500 people. The event was inspired by Valentine’s Day and fea­tured a large interactive display where art museum patrons could post messages of love via their mobile phones.

“We wanted to create a fun and engag­ing activity and to build up the text mes­saging list,” said David Wachs, president of Cellit. “Those who opted in for the game received follow-up messages asking them if they would like to opt in to receive alerts for upcoming museum events.”

The interactive game let the museum patrons flirt with other attendees by reg­istering their phone numbers to receive an attendee number. With the attendee numbers patrons could text love mes­sages to other attendees, which would appear on the large interactive screen — “Number 247, you are looking hot tonight,” for example.

Each text message appeared instantly on a large interactive display for all par­ticipants to view and the intended recipi­ent received a notice on their cell phone. Six hundred people played the game and more than 800 text messages were sent.

This is just one of an ongoing series of events that MCA does with the mobile phone. The museum, which targets peo­ple in their mid-20s to mid-30s, also uses mobile to promote prize giveaways and for event reminders.

The “Digital Post Office of Love” event was marketed through the mobile phone, as well as through e-mail and ads in Time Out Chicago.

“It’s great to use mobile in conjunction with other channels to really leverage all of the media’s overall effectiveness,” Wachs added.

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