Get to know our Flemish masters on

After an international pitch, the team Bowling-Wijs was trusted with the promotion of ‘Vlaamse Meesters 2018-2020”. A project to get Rubens, Breugel, and Van Eyck back in the international spotlight and to get Flanders in the minds of the people as a great travel destination.

The challenges of such an international project are

  • The size of the market and the many languages

  • How different regions see the Flemish masters can differ

  • The way people from different areas travel is very diverse.

How to awaken the interest for the Flemish masters?

Not everyone gets excited for the Flemish masters. These days we don’t get their visual language or fail to see the innovation and political power that came with the masters. We decided to bring it in the now. Think of Tomorrowland for instance, how it could be perceived as an expression of modern-day baroque. You can find out why here.  

Digital first.

At the center of the strategy, there is the platform which is available in 6 languages. Through the site, you will get a virtual guide who will tell you what you might like to see and know about the masters. They will share bits of knowledge, expos, events, and heritage based on your interest.

The online approach is inspired by a hub and spoke principle. The platform is being used for push and pull to find and attract and verify the right audience. This audience data is used in a lookalike acquisition tactic to find more people.  The entire effort is data-driven to find the ROI sweet spot.

PR with a return of 7,5 million euro.

During this online campaign, we were frequently tripping over the same hurdle. It was Facebook and their ad policy. Some images painted by the Flemisch masters were considered pornographic because of some nudity. We never thought the prudery of facebook would go this far and this was threatening the success of the campaign. So we decided to challenge Facebook and pick a fight knowing very well the media would side with us and deliver us the desired attention.

Bowling illustrated the problem with a video that ridiculed the policy by taking it into real life. The video was accompanied by an open letter directed to Marc Zuckerberg himself in which we proposed to solve this problem together. The campaign was being backed by the most critical Belgian musea; other international musea also started supporting us.

The media value of this action was just dizzying. The Flemish masters were front and center of the essential contemporary debate about censorship.

The great escape.

Pieter Bruegel’s figures are more alive than ever. 450 years after his death different characters from Bruegel’s paintings have escaped their 2 dimensional canvas and became 3d models. On display in Church of Our Lady of the Chapel.

A booklet to lend the church’s visitors a helping hand in their search.

Of course these little monsters are not to be found in plain sight. They’re hiding somewhere in the darkest corners of the church. We created this brochure, showing all the paintings where the figures escaped from, and giving clues about where they might be found in the church.