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The V&A 'Cold War Modern Design 1945-70'

The V&A 'Cold War Modern Design 1945-70'

A group of rookie secret agents recruited online for nearly a month finally discovered the real purpose of a campaign that has kept them guessing for weeks.
As part of the V&A’s promotional campaign for its major autumn exhibition Cold War Modern: Design 1945-70 the Museum has collaborated with 1000 Heads, an online word of mouth agency, to entice a network of bloggers with an interest in design to stimulate online discussions about the exhibition.

Secret circle 
Selected bloggers received instructions through covert coded messages from the 7th Syndikate – a pseudonym set up by 1000 Heads especially for the campaign. The ‘secret agents’ who cracked the codes and solved the clues followed a trail that invited them to a secret rendezvous point at the Albert Memorial in South Kensington where they would discover what the trail was all about.

V&A head of marketing Jane Rosier explained the motivation behind the campaign, “We wanted to do something different to reach a new online audience. The subject of the exhibition offered us the perfect opportunity to work creatively with themes of espionage and coded communications. There has been a great online response and we hope it will lead to many new Museum visitors.”

In the know
Informed that their mark would be there in a long trench coat and bowler hat at 18.45, around 35 bloggers dressed as secret agents followed the mark to an exclusive after-hours preview of the exhibition at the V&A. It was only then that they learned the Cold War Modern exhibition was the secret that the 7th Syndikate had led them to discover.

1000 Heads account manager Seb Robert added, “The campaign was designed to assimilate online discussion about the exhibition, with the emphasis on deciphering codes and creating a buzz about the event in order to reach a new audience.”

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