It’s now open in Chicago—21c Museum Hotels, a contemporary art museum with a hospitable side. At Envisionit, we’re excited to partner with this Louisville-based hotel concept for a brand awareness campaign to launch their 9th and newest property right in our backyard.

So, how does a new museum hotel stand out in a city with a world-class art scene and nearly 200 hotels? 

To connect with our social savvy, artistically minded target, we knew our campaign needed to capture attention, create curiosity and intrigue, and put the brand on display. 

In other words, be bold, artistic, and disruptive. 

Our campaign, “C U SOON, CHICAGO,” is our own take on contemporary art, using deconstructed 21c Museum Hotel brand elements, a motion-forward mobile-friendly paid social strategy, and an OOH approach with real stopping power to make the introduction of the brand as memorable and thought-provoking as the museum hotel itself. 


We learned in our initial discovery that the further the location from their Louisville flagship, the lower the awareness for 21c Museum Hotels. In addition, the hotel itself was under construction and specific details were still being finalized. So, our creative strategy was to take a graphic approach to pique curiosity and make the unfamiliar familiar. Our campaign concept puts 21c’s parent brand elements on display, including deconstructed aspects of the logo, strong campaign messaging, and 21c’s famous penguin mascot.  

Brand forward, motion focused

To connect with our artistically minded, social savvy audiences in Chicago and regional drive markets, we’re targeting them where they already are—Instagram and Facebook. 

We created the big reveal in two phases. Phase 1 creative served up a heavy dose of intrigue with messaging that teased what’s in store. Phase 2 leans in on the opening announcement, boldly playing up the uniqueness of the museum meets hotel.

Intriguing, elegant animations disrupt our target as they scroll through their feeds. Ad specs lend easily to mobile to coincide with the social behaviors of our target audience. 

All touchpoints drive to a dedicated landing page with our exciting hotel launch announcement and a countdown clock to the opening. The campaign has built momentum with each phase, revealing more details about the hotel’s contemporary art museum, spa-like rooms, and upcoming chef-forward restaurant as we got closer to launch. 



Street-level art on display

Window displays on the property’s exterior and digital out-of-home bus shelter ads bring the digital campaign to the streets with our “C U Soon, Chicago” graphic treatment and brand messages, capturing both sidewalk traffic and intrigue.


21c Museum Hotel Chicago officially opened its doors on February 4, and it’s been incredibly fun and rewarding to put the spotlight on such a unique concept now in our city. While the campaign is still running (at the time of this post), we’re excited to see so many curious travelers get to know this hotel. 

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