• Pink Floyd - Their Mortal Remains at the Dortmunder U

  • Pink Floyd - Their Mortal Remains at the Dortmunder U

  • Pink Floyd - Their Mortal Remains at the Dortmunder U

Jannis Kötting on campaigning for the Pink Floyd exhibition: “My phone was always ringing with new likes”

11.07.2019 by Hester Gersonius

Keywords: campaign, Facebook, Pink Floyd, social media

As the content manager for the Dortmunder U (Dortmund, Germany), Jannis Kötting was responsible for the social media campaign for the Pink Floyd exhibition – the U’s biggest exhibition ever.

What was it like to work on such a big exhibition?

The exhibition took place from the 15th of September until the 10th of February. Nick Mason (the drummer of Pink Floyd, red.) came to the opening. The exhibition was curated by Aubrey Powell, who also took part in the smARTplaces event #TheWorkofArt. It was a lot of work but it was cool to meet these people and engage with the fans.

I imagine that with a such big exhibition there are also big expectations

Absolutely. People from all over the country were visiting the exhibition. Every fifth visitor was from outside the region as well as Austria and The Netherlands. I was having conversations with people online that were flying in from Berlin to see the exhibition.

How did you reach out to those people?

We set up a big social media campaign, using paid content and target groups. As most people know, the Facebook algorithm works in a way that you have to pay to get a lot of impressions. But when you pay you also have the option to target your audience, so you can reach out to new audiences. We had a special Pink Floyd landing page so people could buy tickets as easy and quickly as possible. The campaign resulted in about 6 million expressions on Pink Floyd postings all together.

How did you decide on the target groups?

You always have to try it out. Start with imagining your target groups. I used Last.FM to see what other bands Pink Floyd fans like and targeted every one of these bands. That really had a strong positive effect on the campaigns. And then I ran A/B tests to see which target groups work better. For example around Christmas I didn’t want to reach the Pink Floyd fans, but their relatives to buy them tickets.

Can you explain what an A/B test is?

You run multiple campaigns that are nearly the same, but you change one element to see what effect it will have. Then you shut of the worst performing campaign and continue with the good ones. The longer you run A/B tests, the better your campaign will get.

Did the campaign also result in new followers?

That was not the goal of the campaign. We wanted to redirect them to our Pink Floyd website and sell tickets to the exhibition. We had a little bit more followers, but not as much as I had expected given the huge amount of interactions. We´ve had over 800.000 interactions with commercial posts and over 40.000 likes, comments and shares. These also include the reactions and interactions with the ads that were shared by users. My phone was always ringing with new likes! I read everything, but didn’t react to every conversation going on. People were having discussions with each other, sharing memories, and that was so nice to see. When you target to people who like what you give them, you get a lot of positive reactions and feedback.

What happened after the campaign?

I was worried about the Facebook algorithm. I expected Facebook would think only Pink Floyd fans were interested in the Dortmunder U. What would happen if I posted something else? But luckily it worked fine.

Would you do it again?

Yes, for every exhibition. Our next exhibition The Art of Skate is almost going viral by itself, but I’m setting up a campaign next week. After that we have an exhibition about expressionist art, Ein Gefühl von Sommer, and I’m curious to see how people will engage with that one.

How much money and other resources do you need to see up such a campaign?

It really depends on the exhibition and the amount of people you want to reach, but in my opinion it’s worth the effort. Yes, it’s more complicated to set up a campaign than set up a post. But to get the same engagement, you’d have to set up 20 posts.

If another museum would want to do this, what would they need?

The most important thing is to figure out the target group and provide good content. Invest money in the content itself. You need great pictures, good video content. And keep it shorts – studies say that people watch approximately 3 seconds of sponsored content so you have to be fast and catchy.

Can anyone do it?

If you have a good camera, experience in filming and skills on social media – yes. But in my opinion it’s a teamwork thing.