The Frick Pittsburgh: Case Study

How Wrecking Crew Media Helped the Frick Pittsburgh Use Video to Increase Brand Awareness, Attract New Customers and Set Attendance Records 

Challenge: Increasing brand awareness, on time and on budget

When the Frick, a Pittsburgh-based museum and historical complex, went looking for a video production company to help with a high-profile video project, they were just starting to take their marketing game to the next level.

As a non-profit with a small marketing department, the Frick Pittsburgh had never invested the time or resources into a robust marketing strategy. Under the leadership of the institution’s third executive director, enhanced marketing had been deemed a strategic initiative. 

Having just been awarded a grant to promote the Frick through a kiosk in Pittsburgh International Airport, the timing was perfect — and ripe with opportunity to boost exposure of the Frick’s brand.

The team at the Frick knew they wanted to do some kind of digital signage, and had a rough vision for a 3-4 minute video that showcased the institution’s 6-acres worth of museums, visitors’ centers, and grounds. With no feature videos to speak of and no technical talent in-house, they knew this was a video project they couldn’t handle on their own.

“We had never invested in a professional film or video profile of the Frick before,” said Greg Langel, director of marketing and communications at the Frick. “We’d made some half-hearted attempts at creating some videos in-house, and we’d been profiled on such shows as America’s Castles, but we didn’t have a video calling card for the site. So, we started to look for video production firms that could help us out.”

The project was going to be extensive, as the Frick didn’t have any B-roll footage to draw from. They also needed aerial footage as well as well-executed videography of the interior of the museums and the art collections themselves. 

They needed a video production company that was skilled and versatile enough to deliver on all of this — and more.

Solution: A world-class, full-service video production company that hits a home run each time

Langel said they interviewed several video production houses, but it was when they spoke to Wrecking Crew Media that they knew immediately they’d found the right fit. 

“We could tell that their working style, capabilities, and personality were what we needed,” Langel said. “It was clear they had a process and well-established approach, and that instilled confidence in their abilities. When they were willing to understand our needs and work with us on budget, we were sold.”

Greg Langel, the Frick Pittsburgh

“High-quality video feels like a luxury for a non-profit, specifically from a budget perspective. I’d always assumed that the type of work Wrecking Crew Media has been able to do for us was way outside our price range. It’s not.”

— Greg Langel

Director of Marketing & Communications

The Frick Pittsburgh

Langel said there was one additional selling point that also helped to seal the deal. 

“Instead of just asking us what we wanted, they served as a catalyst for helping us refine what we wanted and showing us how we could achieve it,” Langel said.

After the decision was made to move forward with Wrecking Crew, the process to create the Frick’s first feature video began.

Langel said Wrecking Crew made the entire process easy, guiding them  through the concept development, efficiently requesting the archival images they’d need, and being flexible about scheduling shoots on the one day a week the Frick was closed to visitors. 

Langel also noted that Wrecking Crew wasn’t phased by the quick turnaround time the Frick was on to get the video ready to show in the kiosk display. Instead, they were helpful.

“Wrecking Crew was very collaborative and helped us identify the steps we needed to take to keep to our really aggressive and ambitious timeline,” Langel said. 

When the initial draft of the video was ready to see, Langel said he was thrilled.

“It was a home run,” Langel said. “Watching the video for the first time was such a gratifying and surprising experience. We were all in a state of amazement. It was perfect and exactly what we wanted.”

Using an archival film effect along with a truly unique and original score, Langel said Wrecking Crew did an incredible and appropriate job of telling the story of the Frick and bringing their museums to life.

“For a 3-4 minute video brochure of an institution that sits on nearly 6 acres, it was kind of a tall order,” Langel said. “What Wrecking Crew delivered was something I don’t think I was capable of conceiving ahead of time. We were really impressed with it.”

The success of that first video project — which is still running today in concourse B of the Pittsburgh International Airport — paved the way for more video work, and some pretty impressive results.

Results: Increased brand awareness equals more customers and new attendance records

With a positive working relationship in place, the Frick then asked Wrecking Crew to tackle other projects, such as TV commercials of varying lengths promoting a series of popular exhibitions, a profile video of one of their visiting artisans, and a documentary video of a high-ticket fundraiser at which the artist and her work were featured. 

Langel said each of these projects were also “home runs”, with the results to prove it.

“Working with Wrecking Crew has allowed the Frick to effectively promote its world-class collections and exhibitions to a wider audience, in Pittsburgh and beyond,” Langel said. “Because of this, we’ve attracted new customers and provide a better orientation in advance of their visits, allowing our audience to have an overall richer experience with the museum.

“Videos are essential for promoting exhibitions and the videos produced by Wrecking Crew have helped us set new attendance records.”

Langel said that as a non-profit, the Frick’s partnership with Wrecking Crew is one he feels lucky to have — and one he’s excited to continue growing.

“I pinch myself that we get to work with such a talented and capable video production company,” Langel said. “They have the capabilities of a large production studio, but they have the intimacy, friendliness, and personality of a small shop. The work they’re able to produce is mind-blowing.”

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