Big Awards 2008 - Outdoor Gold - The National Gallery, Grand Tour

LONDON - Let's face it, what you usually expect to find adorning the streets of central London is a whole host of Starbucks and people trying to offload a copy of thelondonpaper on you.

National Gallery...outdoor gold award
National Gallery...outdoor gold award

The National Gallery
The Partners

But a Van Gogh or Botticelli masterpiece? Not likely.

However, that's what The Partners did to promote the National Gallery and its sponsor, HP.

For 12 weeks, 44 exact scale replicas of paintings that can be found in the National Gallery were hung around the streets of Soho, Piccadilly and Covent Garden, in sites that complemented or contrasted with the paintings.

"I think the National Gallery's problem beforehand was that people didn't realise that they liked art in the first place, so the campaign made the effort to bring the art to the people," Ewan Paterson, a judge in the outdoor category and the executive creative director of CHI & Partners, says.

"You then found the public being surprised that they actually liked the art that was being shown around London."

Each reproduction carried information about the painting, directing the public to the Gallery's Grand Tour website.

"The fact that they reproduced the paintings almost ‘for real' in real frames and in the exact size they are in the gallery was what made it great,î Paterson says. "Also, by putting the prints in places that you wouldn't expect worked well - the bigger the juxtaposition, the bigger the impact."

More than 28,000 people picked up a Grand Tour map from the gallery during the campaign and 26,000 people visited the specially created website. Five even broadcast a ?50-minute TV programme dedicated to the project.

And Paterson agrees that the campaign's success was extremely well deserved: "Good work should leave you inspired to go out there and do great work of your own, and I think that's what this campaign did.

"It was a true way of using the outdoor medium, a very simple idea that builds the public's excitement by confronting them with something they wouldn't expect to see on the streets of London. It was a deserved winner."