Petersen Automotive Museum

THE STORY: The Petersen’s Board of Directors wanted to address the problems of a lack of repeat visitors and low membership and donor levels. They needed a complete overhaul of the museum to display its beautiful collection of cars in a 21st century way. The Petersen’s creative staff was small and mighty but were already consumed with the day-to-day operations of the museum they loved. Everyone’s voice needed to be considered to reach a consensus on how to tell all the incredible stories housed in the three-story ex-department store. The Board had approved a new exterior design, and the interior needed to be at least as stunning as the steel undulations already causing controversy in the city.

MY ROLE: As the Creative Director for The Scenic Route, I first worked with the TSR leadership, external consultants, and the CD at the museum to develop a comprehensive Master Plan that re-imagined what the museum could be. After gaining buy-in from the Board and the Petersen staff, I led the internal and external creative teams through the process of making a raft of dreams an integrated reality.

Along with the museum’s curatorial staff and consultant, our team delivered a top-to-bottom storytelling update encompassing the visitor flow and experience, artifact selection, gallery design and assignment, interactive experiences, single and multi-source video production, graphic standards, logo design, and overall messaging direction. The TSR creative team also supplied marketing materials, presented concepts to donors and stakeholders, and became the liaison between the museum and several auto manufacturers, owner/loaners, and industry leaders.

The result was a quadrupling of attendance in the first year, new exhibit donors, and a significant rise in annual memberships. And being named one of the best automotive museums in the world by several industry publications and organizations.

AGENCY: The Scenic Route


Pre-opening Promotional Video