If there's such a thing as going "too viral" then art director Jenny Burrows and copywriter Matt Kappler have just experienced it. The duo put together three posters under the tagline 'Historically Hardcore' that went from blogs to the very top of Reddit and in front of the watchful eyes of the Smithsonian museum (whose logo they initially used at the bottom of the posters).
Read the whole story on Jenny's blog. Here are my favorite parts.
"I was chatting with my brother, a regular on Reddit, when I saw a tweet linking them to a thread there. I told my brother, 'Hey look! I'm on Reddit! How cool!' Next thing we know, that post, plus another one with the ads in it, were holding the number 1 and 3 spot on Reddit's coveted front page."
"This morning I started getting phone calls from different news venues in Washington, DC. It was after the first call that I decided it was probably time to get in touch with someone from Smithsonian, just to cover my ass."
"Our goal was to reach high school and college students, to try and engage them in a subject that many of them find extremely boring. To encourage them to learn more about people who they might have disregarded as stiff and dull. I think I can say without a doubt, if this had been a real campaign, it would have been immensely successful."
"I have seen so many people commenting, saying things like 'I want to go to the Smithsonian now!' and 'History is awesome!' and 'I want these on my wall!' (Seriously, I have.) It's nice to know that a clean concept and execution can really get people excited. I think it shows that campaigns don't have to be heavily technological and gimmicky to attract attention."
Due to all the possible copyright issues, Jenny decided it would be too risky to sell these images as posters. Instead, feel free to download the high-res pdfs for your own pleasure. (See link below.)
Jenny Burrows blog