National Museum of African American History & Culture

An Impactful Anniversary


To spread the word about their fifth anniversary and two powerful new exhibits, the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) sought our help in creating a suite of impactful ads to cover the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station, as well as Metro buses. The concept needed to be clean, captivating, and posit clear calls to action, while also integrating highly varied brands, types of artwork, and a total of five organizational, anniversary, and exhibition logos. It also had to translate well to a wide range of shapes, sizes, and both print and digital formats that all complemented one another.


Inspired by NMAAHC's prior then-and-now advertising theme, we designed a concept that put their dramatic images, including thematically linked past-and-more-present-day pairs, front and center. Rounded-corner image frames on a stark, black background evoke film frames and the passage of time, while our concise copy presented in high-contrast white—and a timeless serif font—commands viewers' attention, calling on them to consider key topics and calls to action. Color tints on selected images add variety to the visuals, while also categorizing ads based on corresponding exhibit or program. A more stark fifth-anniversary ad anchors the series, providing a contextual and visual reset with its simple presentation of logos, explanatory text, and a QR code for the museum's anniversary web page.


During the 7-week L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station takeover, the subway ads received over 1 million impressions, based on Outfront Media data adjusted for pandemic ridership levels. The 6-week bus run brought this important campaign to more than 3.6 million estimated pairs of eyes across the District.

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