Analyzing the Relationship between Museums and Advertisements

Museum Marketing is not a prominent channel among advertisements. They do not fit into any of the most frequently advertised companies: toiletries and cosmetics, drugs and remedies, food and food products, apparel and accessories, and retail and automotive. The “category” of museums would fall better under business publication (specific businesses, industries, or occupations) because it is a unique and specialized industry. However, due to not having a large or consistent budget, museums do not directly advertise. Their goal, through advertisements, is to reach existing and potential audiences to promote the new things they are offering. Museums also advertise more locally. Creating advertisements unique to their area is beneficial because museums themselves are unique to the area. Unlike retail stores that are universal, not one museum is like another because they are ran and funded differently. The collections, space, mission, etc. differ from institution to institution.

Children’s Museum Advertising

With a large portion of advertising on museum websites, another larger segment of their advertising is produced in the form of magazines/print. Many well established museums create advertisements that are specific to a traveling exhibition or new work of art acquired in the collection. Children’s Museums, however, are a little bit different. They do not focus on the artwork they have, but on the learning opportunities they provide. While researching magazine advertisements for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, no results appeared. But, he MAKESHOP from The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is frequently featured in MAKE:, a magazine that publishes tested products, skill building tutorials, in-depth reviews, and inspirational stories. Their feature consisted of an interview with the Director of Learning and Research and the MAKESHOP Manager discussing MAKESHOP’s role within CMP, the day-to-day operations, how learning is important, and how it began. On the Make: website, they also include a video tutorial of how to make a wooden Xylophone, so there range of disciplines being connected through this feature.

In the MAKESHOP – Informal Learning and Making at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Magazines are a great way to advertise for specific purposes. For Children’s Museums, in particular, it is necessary to advertise in the most specialized and related magazines, such as Parenting, or specific mom or child magazines. Although magazines are specific and encompass all ages, geographically, anyone can get a magazine. The question raised with this element is, “would it be worth it, or a waste of time and money on a target market they aren’t segmenting or focusing on?” If the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh wants to start advertising in magazines, they should approach Pittsburgh based magazines like Pittsburgh Parent. Today, it can be seen that museums are creating their own magazine instead of just simply advertising in one that is already established. Currently, magazines such as Museum, Curator: The Museum Journal, and Museum Store Magazine are being circulated.

Future Outlook

The relationship between museums and advertisements is interesting because they are seen as an art form. Museums have acquired advertisements over the years for preservation and collection purposes. The National Museum of American History has one of the largest advertisement collections. Advertisements are seen as an important medium because they influenced popular culture and changed patterns of thinking and behavior for artists and members of society. To celebrate advertising past and increase appreciation for the role it has played in society, The Museum of Advertising is currently being created in New York City. The idea was established in 2017 and the grand opening is scheduled for late 2019. Advertising has been influential within museums and now museums are being influential within advertisements. This interconnection will be interesting to watch develop and transform over time.