MFA Plays Game of Cat and Mouse

BOSTON Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos encourages visits to the Museum of Fine Arts here via a campaign that asks, “What will you find this time?”

Ads mix large images and minimal copy with some decidedly unexpected humor. For example, one print ad shows a bronze Egyptian cat statue apparently eyeing a Japanese lithograph of a mouse. In another execution, the boaters in a Winslow Homer watercolor appear to be heading for disaster in a nearby George Inness’ oil painting of Niagra Falls.

The work is running in local media such as The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine, as well as in tourism publications and The New York Times. Banners are also running on various newspaper Web sites and posters are present in Boston subways.

“The MFA is a dynamic, living brand and a real treasure in the City of Boston,” said Kevin Daley, svp, group cd at the Boston shop. “We had a blast developing the work. The MFA is an ever-changing place that gives visitors limitless possibilities for exploration and our work reflects that offering.”

Daley handled art direction, working with copywriter Mark Nardi. Kevin Redmond managed the interactive components.

The MFA has spent slightly less than $1 million annually on ads in recent years, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday also works for AOL, Bank of America, CVS, Dunkin’ Donuts and Liberty Mutual, among others.