Client: Penn Museum
BUILDING EXCITEMENT FOR A MONUMENTAL MOVE

A SPHINX’S NEW HOME

For more than a century, the largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere fascinated visitors of all ages at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. It previously resided in the lower Egyptian gallery of the Museum, until June 2019 when the 12.5-ton Sphinx of Ramses II made a monumental move—despite initially being considered impossible due to its weight. As a prelude to the exciting Penn Museum re-launch, the Sphinx was transported to the new Grand Entrance Hall to properly show off an icon and greet visitors as they enter. Brian Communications was challenged to build excitement for the June sphinx move and ensure that this once-in-a-lifetime event was shared with the Philadelphia community and across the country.

The Penn Museum’s activation in Dilworth Park captures the attention of a passerby who tries to pull the 500 lb. replica Sphinx.

The event staff cheers on an attendee as she tries to #MoveTheSphinx in Dilworth Park.

Engineers lift the sphinx off its pedestal, onto air-dollies, in preparation to begin its journey.

Engineers lead the floating sphinx along a trestle-supported track making its way into daylight for the first time in 93 years.

The Brian Communications team prepares the Penn Museum staff for an interview with NBC 10.

The press and public come together to photograph the sphinx on its way to its new home, the foyer of the renovated Penn Museum.

TELLING THE STORY OF AN ANCIENT ICON

Team Brian worked with the Penn Museum to invite the Philadelphia community to #MoveTheSphinx. During the days leading up to the official move, we welcomed passersby in Dilworth Park to test their strength by attempting to move a 500 lb. replica model of the ancient artifact. The activation was featured on 6abc and promoted by social influencers, highlighting the magnitude of the sphinx’s coming journey. We supported this initiative from idea through execution in just two weeks’ time—developing the activation and hashtag campaign concept, organizing a sweepstakes for discounted admission to the museum, and designing all event signage. Nearly 350 people participated in the Sphinx pull and hundreds more stopped to learn about the museum.

The official “moving day” was leveraged by a strategic public relations campaign that told the multi-faceted story of the move and the people behind it, in order to drive awareness to the Penn Museum and its upcoming renovations. Through a series of unique pitch angles across multiple verticals, the Sphinx of Ramses II generated robust local, national, and international coverage across broadcast, online, and print.

Results

72

Unique Media Placements

42 Million

Media Impressions

191K Reach

on Social Media for #MoveTheSphinx