The words - Prisoners of War - immediately bring to mind themes of hardship, boredom, hunger, fatigue, and maltreatment. Working on our second marketing campaign for Imperial War Museum North, we wanted to demonstrate that there was more to the exhibition Captured: The Extraordinary Life of Prisoners of War.

We began our creative journey by scrutinising the target audience. Directed by IWM North’s exhibition aims, the campaign sought to reach and resonate with serious museum/gallery goers, those adult visitors already interested in war and conflict, veterans (and their families), family audiences and schools. We played a careful balancing act, avoiding switching-off any target groups: if the campaign had been too family friendly, we might have discouraged museum/gallery goers and adult visitors without children.

Next, to inform our creative ideas, we examined the personality of the exhibition. The experiences of friendship, survival, endurance and innovation were compelling and unexpected – it was this that would draw visitors to the museum. We translated this into the core creative, focusing on the powerful and remarkable personal stories which follow being Captured.

Using a bold grown-up illustration of the moment of capture, striking type and a restricted colour palette, we strengthened the prominence of the marketing campaign. This concept was executed across all marketing materials including: private view invites, outdoor advertising (6-sheets, 4-sheets), online and press advertising, small format promo print, direct mail, and in-venue promotions.

“I have always found working with Wonder a rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable process, and the campaign for Captured: The Extraordinary Life of Prisoners of War proved yet again that Wonder are truly a creative agency. The whole team at Wonder are always ready to challenge, to question or to push boundaries - whilst understanding client needs and cross checking that every element of the campaign works for target audiences. Wonder know their business and are truly passionate about everything they are involved in, right down to the last full stop.” Catherine Armstrong, Marketing Manager, IWM North.