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National Museums NI Dippy on Tour

Welcoming the world's most famous dinosaur

The Challenge

The Natural History Museum’s star attraction – Dippy the Diplodocus – was coming to Belfast. A natural history adventure like no other was set to unfold at the Ulster Museum. National Museums Northern Ireland knew that they had to pull out all the stops to welcome him, so AV Browne were briefed to help.

 

This was Dippy’s third stop on an eight-venue tour, and the first time the iconic dinosaur had ever crossed the Irish Sea. The tour aimed to introduce 1.5 million people to this fascinating exhibit and inspire the next generation of scientists.

 

Our brief was to roll out the red carpet and invite the public to come and visit him during his stay.

The Approach

We developed a three-stage approach. Firstly, we built anticipation of Dippy’s arrival. We raised awareness of his imminent arrival through large OOH formats and content marketing. We utilised  a high-impact, cover and double-page spread in NI4Kids magazine, filled with dino facts, a prehistoric quiz and loads of roarsome activities. As excitement built, we worked with radio partners on-air and on-social to let people know that Dippy had been ‘spotted’ making his way to Belfast via some iconic Northern Ireland destinations.

 

Finally, we made sure no one would miss their chance to see this mammoth attraction with an always-on online campaign, driving pre-bookings.

The Execution

Who better to announce Dippy’s arrival than Northern Ireland’s favourite breakfast radio hosts – Pete, Paulo and Rebecca?

 

Presenter Paulo Ross, known for his off-air outdoor adventures and drone enthusiasm managed to capture ‘footage’ of giant dinosaur footprints on a Co. Down beach. Dippy had landed in Northern Ireland and was headed towards Belfast!  Pete Snodden, breakfast show anchor was next to come across clues of his continued journey in the Botanic Gardens, right on the doorstep of the Ulster Museum!

 

Once Dippy was safely installed in his temporary home, we created bespoke 3D Facebook filters so all of his visitors could snap a selfie with Dippy, and share their experience with friends and family.

The Results

Dippy’s visit to the Ulster Museum was a huge success. Almost 132,000 visitors came to see him – the single best-attended exhibition in the museum’s history – a (dino)sauring success for National Museums Northern Ireland.