The Strong National Museum of Play Creates Path to Play for Northeast Travelers
New work by Partners + Napier positions museum as the ultimate play destination with a wayfinding billboard campaign that makes the journey half the fun
The Strong National Museum of Play, one of the nation’s leading museums for families and home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, is partnering with creative and media AOR Partners + Napier to delight travelers on the road from Toronto and across the Northeast with a billboard campaign that leads to the ultimate play destination.
The “Path to Play” campaign supports The Strong’s recently completed expansion project, which includes 90,000 square feet of immersive exhibit spaces for all ages, featuring the world’s largest playable Donkey Kong arcade game, electronic gaming areas where guests can create personalized avatars and embark on puzzle-solving quests, a larger-than-life Hasbro Game Park, and much more. The project also includes a whimsical parking garage designed to support the nearly 1 million annual visitors anticipated by 2026, up from a previous high of 600,000 pre-pandemic visitors.
“This campaign is helping to usher in a new era for The Strong,” said Sara Poe, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at The Strong. “We’ve created a unique destination unlike anything else in the world, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming even more visitors to come and experience it for themselves.”
In addition to being home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, The Strong National Museum of Play houses the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.
“Path to Play” brings the museum’s vast collection of classic toys and modern gaming experiences to life with high-impact billboards dotting the path from Toronto and other Northeast cities to The Strong’s location in Rochester, NY. Additional media includes mobile map and geo-targeted advertising, aerial banner advertising, and sports and radio sponsorships along the billboard path, as well as connected TV, YouTube, and social and digital advertising.
“Play is universal — we can all relate to those moments as kids, letting your imagination run wild and having fun with your favorite toy,” said Rob Kottkamp, CCO of Partners + Napier. “This campaign captures the power of that nostalgia, inviting people to reconnect with their inner child at the ultimate play destination, not more than a couple of hours away.”
The Strong National Museum of Play
Vice President of Marketing and Communications: Sara Poe
Partners and Napier
Group Creative Director: Dan O’Donnell
Art Director: Danielle Smith
Copywriter: Isabel Drukker
Photographer/Retoucher: Chris Bodie
Senior Production Artist: JP Smith
Senior Production Supervisor: Wendy DiSalvo
Account Supervisor: Christine Scott
Associate Director of Project Management: Lauren Cole
Associate Project Manager: Daniela Mercado
Editorial Services Manager: Erin Dwyer
VP, Group Media Director: Jordan Murphy
Group Director, Media and Communications Planning: Greg Smith
Director, Analytics: Megan Patrick
Associate Director of Media Buying: Michelle Spinnler
Senior Manager, Media Buying: Erica Erskine
Media Coordinator: Amanda Baum
Insights Analyst: Darshi Mehta
Director of Operations, Resource & Project Management: Melissa Smith
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Kottkamp
Gammut Productions at Partners + Napier
Director: Sullivan Slentz
Cinematographer: Parker Bement
Executive Producer: Danene DiCicco
Producer: Lisa Smith
Assistant Producer: Carli Moore
About The Strong
The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play, and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.
About Partners + Napier
Partners + Napier is an integrated creative and media company that helps brands leave a mark on people, business, and culture. Ranked one of the Most Effective Agencies in North America by Effie Worldwide, the agency specializes in health and wellness, CPG food and beverage, restaurant, beverage alcohol, and B2B enterprise services spaces, proudly serving clients like Constellation Brands, MDLIVE, Highmark Health, Wegmans, Delta Vacations, Bausch + Lomb, Smashburger, and Conduent. The agency is a part of Project Worldwide, an independent, employee-owned network of complementary agencies.