National Gallery of Canada snaps new digital strategy

The gallery is attracting younger photo aficionados with a 14-video campaign promoting Hungary-born photographer Gabor Szilasi's exhibit.

In a new strategy for the National Gallery of Canada, Quebec City-based agency LXB developed a digital-focused campaign for photographer’s Gabor Szilasi ‘The Eloquence of the Everyday’ exhibit targeting 20 to 55 year olds. Ironically though, the ads are not stills but a a series of 14 videos that will broadcast on sites like,, and on the museum’s Facebook page and website. The media buy, also handled by LXB, also includes a print buy in the Ottawa Citizen and La Droit newspaper.

Getting photo aficionados to a gallery is a lot more difficult than baiting art lovers with traditional paintings like a Raphael, says Pier Lalonde, senior creative director at LXB. But since a lot of the target are online, it’s an effective way to reach them, he concludes. ‘It’s something that is very web-driven, it’s something that is very instantaneous, photography. So it fits with the web,’ Lalonde tells MiC.

Lalonde was so inspired by the photographer’s eloquence, that he decided an arty doc-style video interview would help viewers get to know Szilasi better and draw them into the gallery. He likens it to better appreciating the food at a fancy restaurant, if you know about the chef.

‘I thought, why not take a man’s vision over the past 50 years, from Hungary fleeing during the revolution to his beginnings in Quebec…and let him share his vision of the world? Why he sees in black and white, what he thinks of that and what he tried to do,’ explains Lalonde.