Vancouver Science World Museum Non-Conventional Campaign

Can science be fun? Of course! and it can also learn you something. This is the idea underlying the Science World Museum of Vancouver.

This museum, controlled by Science World British Columbia, decided to give life to an advertising campaign, in order to bring people closer to its mission. So it asked to Rethink Canada Communication to make proposal, and the agency created a project of non-conventional advertising that immediately enthused the marketing managers: the “We can explain” campaign.

The campaign has started in 2009 and it is still in progress but it seems that it never ceases to amaze.

The agency has used both non conventional media, and common media and communication tools, such as TV commercials, radio Ads and outdoor Ads, but were all used in a very singular way.


Advertisings stimulates people’s interest: they are both surprising and interesting, and they provoke peoplecuriosity about natural phenomena. The use of Trompe-l’œils, 3D objects on posters, unusual objects on the street, interactive tools and so on, was perfectly developed. Below I reported someone, but you can find others here.


In order to keep the attention of Vancouver public the museum also created a real golden billboard. It used 2 troy ounces of real 22k gold that was hammered so thin that it covered 200 square feet. The price of the gold was estimated at a little over $2,400 Canadian and the specialized manufacture required to turn it into gold leaf which brought the value to over $6,000.  This is why the agency hired a 24/7 security guard to ensure its safety.


It is interesting to note that this campaign’s aim is not directly to develop museum’s audience, but is to create a culture of curiosity and discovery. This is the reason why this campaign is going on for a long time. They want to pursue a long term aim: to interest the people of Vancouver to natural phenomena. This strategy can produce more results than a brilliant one shot campaign, whose effects could be only temporary.

Vancouver Science World Museum’s advertising campaign is a mine of well done ideas and an example for each organization that want to approach to non-conventional cultural marketing word.

Francesco Zanibellato



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