Press Office News

SFMOMA Launches Advertising Campaign Targeted to San Francisco Visitors

See Them Both Campaign Links Tourist Must-Sees to Works in the Museum's Collection

Released: July 27, 2017 · Download (550 KB PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 27, 2017) — A tight, abstract crop of the Golden Gate Bridge juxtaposed against Mark Rothko’s shimmering color field painting, No. 14, 1960. The spring tones of Napa vineyards paired with Wayne Thiebaud’s color-soaked Flatland River. The iconic rainbow flag flying in the Castro alongside Ellsworth Kelly’s painting, Spectrum I. In the new See Them Both campaign from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), iconic, must-see destinations in the city are placed side-by-side with iconic works from the museum’s collection encouraging visitors to “See them both.” The campaign, created by the San Francisco Bay Area–based advertising agency Division of Labor, features out-of-home, airport, digital, mobile and social media executions and debuts in the Bay Area in July 2017.

“San Francisco is famous for its rich cultural legacy and beautiful, iconic landscapes, so what better way to enjoy this city than by pairing those two attractions together?” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “When visitors step inside SFMOMA they will be seeing more than world-class contemporary artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Mark Rothko; they will be introduced to the artistic hallmarks that make this city so special. After seeing this ad campaign, we are sure that our San Francisco visitors will be inspired to see all the wonders of the both the city and the museum.”

See Them Both; photo: courtesy Division of Labor

The Creative

SFMOMA, the nation’s largest museum of modern and contemporary art, recently celebrated its first anniversary in the newly expanded museum welcoming 1.2 million visitors during its first year. SFMOMA offers over 170,000 square feet of gallery space and features one of the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art, including painting and sculpture, photography, architecture and design and media arts. The museum is centrally located in the heart of San Francisco, one of the United States’ most popular travel destinations, and the city welcomes over 25 million visitors annually on both vacation and business travel.

“One of the greatest souvenirs of traveling is discovering the cultural gems of a new city,” said Neal Benezra, the Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA. “With this campaign we hope to foreground the richness of the SFMOMA collection and exhibitions to travelers from all over the globe while they are here in our city.”

A 2016 consumer survey by Google indicates that when planning a trip to a new destination, some travelers extensively research and plan their visit before arriving, but a surprising 85 percent of travelers wait until they are in the market to create their itinerary. By linking artwork in its collection with places on most visitors’ list of “top 10 things to see when in SF,” SFMOMA’s new ad campaign reminds visitors to See Them Both. “We were looking at Mark Rothko’s No. 14, 1960, and it reminded us of the orange of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we put Ellsworth Kelly’s Spectrum I next to a rainbow flag in the Castro and that’s when we knew we were on to something,” explains Josh Denberg, creative director of Division of Labor.

Using strong visual associations, the campaign pairs classic San Francisco sites with iconic SFMOMA work via ten executions:

  • A tight, abstract crop of the tower of the Golden Gate Bridge with Mark Rothko’s No. 14, 1960 (1960)
  • The iconic rainbow flag flying outside the Castro Theater with Ellsworth Kelly’s Spectrum I (1953)
  • A panoramic Napa vineyard with Wayne Thiebaud’s Flatland River (1997)
  • A colorful, lantern-bedecked Chinatown streetscape with Robert Rauschenberg’s Combine Collection (1954–55)
  • A tight close-up of an Alcatraz prison cell with Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917/1964)
  • The silvery fingers of San Francisco’s fog (named “Karl” by locals) with the rippled facade of SFMOMA’s new 10-story expansion
  • The voluptuous sea lions of Pier 39 with Martin Puryear’s sculpture Untitled (1990)
  • The linear geometry of cable car and tracks with Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue (1935/1942)
  • A selfie-taking couple with Frida Kahlo’s Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931)
  • A beaming visitor’s selfie with Andy Warhol’s Self-Portrait (1986)

See Them Both; photo: courtesy Division of Labor

Media Buy

SFMOMA’s See Them Both campaign will be in the San Francisco market from July through October 2017. Early executions will reach visitors during trip planning on travel-related websites and social media. Visitors disembarking at the San Francisco International Airport will see executions in the terminal. The campaign includes billboards along major thoroughfares into the city; out-of-home executions in key tourist-visited areas such as Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Castro; MUNI bus sides and interiors; bus shelters; and a digital campaign.

See Them Both; photo: courtesy Division of Labor

About Division of Labor

Division of Labor is an ad agency and production company based in Sausalito, California. The agency has won Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year Award twice in the last five years. It was founded in 2010 by creative director Josh Denberg. Clients include the San Jose Sharks, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, BART, CamelBak, Ford, Hess Winery and Microsoft, to name just a few.

Jill Lynch 415.357.4172
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org