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Horniman’s ‘Walrus on the Move’ wins award

The Horniman Museum and Gardens has scooped top place in the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence for its ‘Walrus on the Move’ marketing campaign, a year to the day that the Horniman walrus embarked on his mammoth trip to Margate.

Our one-ton taxidermy icon was loaned to Turner Contemporary in May last year, as the centrepiece of the exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing.

Highlights of the 'Walrus on the Move' campaign, which aimed to celebrate the loan and offer walrus fans a way to keep in touch, included:

Loaning the walrus was a big deal for us, and communicating it well was vital. But we also wanted to have some fun with the campaign and create a holiday spirit so our visitors felt part of the walrus’s seaside trip. We're delighted that the campaign's creativity and success have been recognised with this Museums + Heritage Award for Excellence. - Victoria Pinnington, Director of Communications

The marketing campaign also aimed to deepen understanding of the historic taxidermy specimen and the rest of the Natural History collection, and to attract visitors from Kent and the South East. During the campaign overall visitor numbers rose by 12% with the number from South East England rising by 81%.

The Horniman also increased its social media presence through the campaign, with 58% more Twitter followers and a 35% increase in website visits.

The Horniman’s communications have recently won two other awards:

The Museums + Heritage Award winners were announced at a ceremony on 14 May and the Best of the Web Awards on 4 April.