Luring us back to culture

As social media scrolling swallows our free time, several recent campaigns encourage us to rediscover the joys of museums, theatre and literature.

par Mark Tungate , Adforum


Screens are an easy diversion. Our smartphones sit beside us throughout the day: at work, at mealtimes, in the evening. Picking up a book or visiting a museum feels increasingly like an effort. But bookstores, libraries and cultural institutions are fighting back – often, ironically, using digital media.

For example, with the “Time To Read” installation, bookstore chain Kinokuniya and Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai used data to show how much potential reading time people were losing by perusing social media – and suggested turning their priorities around.



Museums require support from loyal members. In order to recruit new supporters, the Royal Ontario Museum – which showcases history and culture from across the ages – offered them nothing less than immortality.



The operation was inspired by the museum’s rebrand – by Leo Burnett Design in Canada – which was all-encompassing and spectacular. It makes you want to get on the first flight to Ontario.



Talking of rebranding, zoos have taken a bit of bashing in recent years. ARTIS, the oldest zoo in Amsterdam, needed to refresh its positioning and attract a new audience. So it decided to explore our connection with nature.



Is AI going to take the place of genuine art? To answer that question, Innocean in Germany compared an AI’s response to prompts with the real work of legendary photojournalist Robert Capa – for a gallery devoted to him.




In the US, there’s an alarming trend of banning books that don’t sit well with certain ideologies. In order to make banned books accessible again, The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched The Banned Book Club, making these publications free to read via an app.



Certain places are renowned for culture – Paris or Rome, for example – but what can you do to attract tourists to less clichéd destinations? Brussels, for example. You deploy a dry sense of humour and an abstract point of view.