The Story  

The Founding Fathers. The Redcoats. Valley Forge. People know the broad strokes of the American Revolution, but the subtleties of the picture – the motivations of the conflict and the fascinating real-life stories of less famous men and women – have largely gone missing. Historic Philadelphia’s brand-new Museum of the American Revolution intended to flesh out all that had been overlooked – and they engaged the creative minds of AB&C to let the public know it was a lively, engaging, and relevant story.

The Strategy  

AB&C chose to literally paint the scene – featuring photography of historically-accurate reenactors starring as lesser-known players in the story, arranged in painterly scenes reminiscent of both heroic artworks of the period and modern movie posters. Introductory print ads, radio spots and the tagline – You Don’t Know the Half of It – were directed to create a dramatic portrait of the times and remind prospective visitors that the true story went far beyond the musty history they encountered in textbooks.

The Success  

More than 350,000 ticketed visitors came to the Museum in its opening year, including 40,000 schoolchildren. The Museum attracted a robust 8,000 founding members. Fodor’s Travel ranked the Museum of the American Revolution one of the 10 Best New Museums in the world, and it was covered with feature stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Geographic and more. The American Alliance of Museums awarded us for “achievement in engaging audiences in something they think they know in new ways.“

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