The Museum of Feelings: Five Things We Learned
By WGSN Insider

Does a smell make you feel happy, sad, excited or frightened? A pop-up exhibition called the Museum of Feelings in New York invites you to explore this. WGSN City-by-City Associate Editor Sara Radin reports

Dec 11, 2015
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A lower Manhattan exhibition is tapping into the trend for immersive experiences. The free, pop-up Museum of Feelings focuses on using fragrance to elicit feelings, then transforming those emotions into works of art.

The exhibition is actually orchestrated by Glade, the fragrance company that makes candles, oils, gels and sprays. The museum is part brand strategy, part interactive delight of alluring visions with a catchy name, and multiple room installations with smells that visitors can react to as they walk around. We were definitely intrigued by this pop-up exhibit.

Here’s five things we learned from The Museum of Feelings:

1. THE SENSES COME ALIVE

The Museum of Feelings engages four of the major five senses allowing one to smell, touch, listen and breathe in a unique and immersive experience.

2. INTERACTIVE ELEMENTS

Each room tackles a different emotion from exhilarated, to calming and optimistic. The Exhilarated room features floral video projections that look kaleidoscopic and are controlled by an iPad, with blooming peony and cherry scents that match. The Calming room looks like a James Turrell installation (and is also reminiscent of Drake’s recent Hotline Bling video) with a circular ceiling light installation and a cloud of fog that encompasses the room and makes you feel like you’re floating.

3. MAKE A SPLASH

The Museum is located in an outdoor courtyard within the Brookfield Place Mall by Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. Battery Park City is not your typical Manhattan shopping destination. The pop-up succeeds by driving consumers directly into the middle of the major shopping center, which only opened in March 2015.

4. DATA AND SOCIAL MEDIA RULE

Even before you enter the exhibition, the exterior of the museum changes colour reflecting the mood of the city through data collected via social media. Ultimately, the museum calls itself a “mood ring of the city” and uses each visitor’s biometric data to create a MoodLens, a unique emotional selfie that is matched with a custom fragrance. The Museum of Feelings also encourages visitors to get involved on social, currently, the #museumoffeelings hashtag has almost 14,000 tags.

5. BRAND AWARENESS

While the Museum of Feelings was created by Glade, the brand is completely absent from related advertisements and signage. However, cleverly the last room at the end of the exhibition features Glade’s newest line of scents and candles for sale, engaging the consumer with the brand and making sure that the branding is the last thing they see as they head home.

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