Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Creating a love letter to art that shook-up a sector – and got people in touch (literally) with art.


Art direction
Campaign strategy
Video production


Borne are incredible. They not only captured and creatively re-imagined the radical intent of our museum’s mission, but they also inspired us to take risks we would never have done without their expert guidance/curation. Professionally invaluable and creatively brilliant

Jago Cooper Executive Director

The Brief

The centre wanted to be the only art museum in the world to treat art as if it’s alive. 50 years on from when Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury donated their art collection to the University of East Anglia (UEA) and asked a young Norman Foster to create a radical alternative to the traditional art museum, the brand launched a new brand positioning: ‘Art is alive’. It aims to challenge perceptions of art museums, and make art truly available to everyone, and galleries a welcome place to interact with it. We created a campaign video with the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts to bring its concept to life – and get it noticed.

The Strategy

Pushing the creative style wasn’t a risk but an imperative: 89% of marketing communication is neither noticed or remembered, and the film needed to drive earned media reach for maximum impact.

In narrative, part of the strategy was about signalling the radical nature of the Sainsbury Centre concept by adopting a classic disruptor approach of being unequivocal about what’s wrong with the category – and we’re lucky that there’s a lot wrong with the art world – while showing how the Sainsbury Centre is different.

The Creative

The make or break of a concept such as this is the delivery, but we’re lucky to have connections with some of the industry’s biggest talents: we brought multi-award winning script-writer Eion McLaughlin, with Spindle’s D&AD awarded director LIAKH into our team for this project.

The script came first and took the insight that if art was sentient and could truly choose where it lived, it would choose the Sainsbury Centre. The creative proposition was a pastiche on the traditional tourism campaign, as though talking directly to the art.

The Results

The release had far-reaching coverage from the art and mainstream media, including the Guardian, and the Express: it was shared from eastern Europe to the East Coast.