Auburn University

Smithsonian Campaign

Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. It is comprised of 19 museums and the National Zoo. The institution surpassed its goal of raising $1.5 billion. To clarify, this was the largest fundraising campaign ever conducted by an American cultural institution. Bravo Charlie Delta worked with Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement and several leading museum units to develop a powerful portfolio of strategic media and helped Smithsonian achieve this historic goal.

Smithsonian Campaign

Our team played an important communications role in the campaign. We recorded more than 22 key interviews and they became the foundation of our asset library. The interviews were conducted by Steege Thomson.

Strategy, Process and Tools

We designed the brand content and associated templates used to generate repeatable results. Individual museums used our work to affiliate with the Smithsonian brand. Additionally, the guidelines provided enough leeway for each museum to tell the story in their own way.


Creating the brand video played an important role in shaping the campaign’s identity. The creative process helped stakeholders agree on campaign messaging, tone and style. Several prominent museums  adopted the video before it was finally presented at the Campaign Kickoff event.

Strategic Media

We formatted a series of inspiring short videos using footage drawn from our asset library. Each episode shared well defined creative though-lines and a distinct tone signature. Individual museums used our templates and tools to produce their own video episodes, thus enabling them to contribute to the campaign portfolio.


The National Air and Space Museum produced two videos based on our original work with the Office of Advancement.  Firstly, the videos helped NASM connect to the Smithsonian Campaign. Secondly, our templates created an opportunity for the museum to deliver campaign messages in their own way. For instance, retired astronaut Jim Lovell is featured in one of the videos.  The National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of Natural History also participated in using templates to create their own versions of campaign video content.


Bravo Charlie Delta designed a pocket sized strategic plan for the Asian Pacific American Center. In other words, we boiled down content from several existing publications and designed a product with a fresh look and feel. The result was a unique passport sized strategic plan. In addition, we incorporated campaign themes to connect the piece to the campaign.


Bravo Charlie Delta deployed still photography and video crews to capture the the kick off weekend. During the event, crews in different locations captured footage throughout the National Mall in Washington D.C.


We feature Campaign Co-Chair David Rubenstein and Reynold Levy  in this campaign steering committee meeting video. The meeting was interesting, but we really took on this project just to get into the basement of the Natural History Museum.

Regional Activity

The National Museum for African American History and Culture recognized the role of young philanthropists. Because of this, we featured a young family from NYC in a NMAAHC testimonial.

Content and Tools

Bravo Charlie Delta created the Smithsonian’s first digital annual report. As a result, the Smithsonian was able to create more meaningful engagements.

Digital Wallpaper

We used the campaign videos to create “digital wallpaper” for campaign events.  Consequentially, the Smithsonian integrated branded content at events.

Live Program Content

We designed and built a PowerPoint presentation. As a result, we were able to sync content with live performances on stage at the launch event.


Smithsonian Friends included topical videos in their electronic newsletter.

Promotional Spots 

We created a promotional IMAX spot for the National Air and Space Museum. The spot was screened regularly in the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater.

Holiday Cards

Interactive projects for Smithsonian include a digital annual report, HTML formatted emails, HTML newsletter templates and digital holiday cards. To sum it up, we produced a bit of everything and we are proud of it.