21c Kansas City
In 2017, 21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, KY, engaged Highline Partners to help navigate the advertising, PR and branding of their eighth property, which was going to inhabit one of the most historic buildings in Kansas City, Missouri. Highline was thrilled and honored to be part of this transformational project and it was the firm's goal to be the client's "Most Important Partner" throughout the entire process.
In the end it was managing three launches - a world-class contemporary arts museum, a chef-driven reinterpretation of one of Kansas City's treasured spaces, and a luxury boutique hotel.
As a brand, every 21c Museum Hotel gets it’s own penguin sculpture mascot in a signature color. These penguins are actually works of art from the Italian art group Cracking Art Group, and each hotel has an entire flock of penguins that wander the hotel, appearing in elevators, surprising guests in their rooms, joining diners at the restaurant. These colorful icons became the perfect brand ambassadors for their launch in Kansas City and the march of the 21c Penguins was born.
As an agency, we welcomed the seven different colored penguins from the seven 21c hotels and proceeded to document their “search” for their new sibling. Using the #KCPenguin, we created a campaign that came from the mouths of the flock: “Where is #KCPenguin?” and “Have you seen #KCPenguin?”
Using outdoor, social media, teaser advertising, video, PR, guerrilla, pop-up parties, and formal events, the flock was everywhere.