Reaching new audiences: British Museum Manga

The British Museum’s sold out Manga exhibition attracted its youngest, most ethnically diverse audience ever.

It smashed ticketing targets and broke records for first time attenders, particularly amongst the Entertainment Culture Segment. 

Despite the content, this wasn’t a foregone conclusion: formative research showed manga enthusiasts feared the Museum would spoil the content by making it too museum-y.

This insight, informed by Culture Segments, shaped the marketing team’s strategy to target atypical paid museum audiences.

A bold poster campaign was the main driver for a quarter of visits; graffiti artists painted key boroughs of the city bright orange; a social media campaign ensured no-one could mistake the exhibition as being boring. 

The results speak for themselves: 

·     27% of visitors were first time visitors – double that of other recent exhibitions
·     43% of visitors were 25-34 age group, the youngest on record
·     34% of visitors were BAME, with a significantly higher proportion of Londoners
·     22% of visitors were from the Entertainment Culture Segment, ten times the usual level for a paid exhibition at the museum
·     The exhibition beat its ticketing targets by more than 20,000. 

Perhaps most significantly, a third of people said their perceptions had been changed by the exhibition, suggesting manga has successfully unlocked a new audience of atypical users. 

Download the pdf to read the full case study or see our short video here

Reaching new audiences: Citi exhibition Manga at the British Museum

Case study from the British Museum on their record-breaking manga exhibition in summer 2019.

Images courtesy of the British Museum


Sylvie works across projects in a variety of roles. From working with qualitative and quantitative...

Lorna is a Senior Consultant and heads our USA team. She has extensive experience on both sides of...

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