The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising: everyday objects that mean so much

By Jun 16, 2016

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When the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising outgrew its premises, the search was on for a new site that would make full use of its educational, therapeutic and entertainment potential. CEO Chris Griffin explains the museum’s mission.

“The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising was created by Robert Opie, who started his collection in 1963 and by 1984 had opened a museum in Gloucester. Robert and Chris brought the museum to London in 2001, formed a charity, raised the funding and opened the museum in Notting Hill in 2005. Things went well, we attracted major sponsors and the place got busier. By 2013 we were looking for new premises and found our site in Lancaster Road at the end of the year, finishing the deal in early 2015.

“Because we had some difficult negotiations, the fundraising campaign couldn’t really get going. We were suddenly faced with having to make the purchase and complete the demolitions and building works in a very short period of time. We needed help, so our brokers contacted Charity Bank and they offered us a good deal.

“The loan has enabled us to go from completing a purchase in March 2015 to opening the renovated museum before the end of 2015, a remarkably short period of time. We would otherwise have been very challenged to complete the building and fitting-out of the museum.

“I don’t even want to go back and think about what would have happened without Charity Bank.We got encouragement from the team throughout the process that we weren’t wasting our time with them, which really did help. Charity Bank gave as much clarity as they could; there would’ve been far more sleepless nights without them.

“The museum presents an incredible collection. It is a subject matter that goes across so many different topics, from consumer history, design and graphics to typography and marketing. We show not just the brands, packaging and advertising, but the things that defined consumer society at that time. The innovations of the telephone, radio, television, fridge or microwave have all helped to shape the way society changes, so we show everything within context. It appeals to the general public on the grounds of nostalgia and entertainment, but it’s also a resource for industry professionals.

“People relate to the items in our museum in such a personal way. It’s the everyday things that will stimulate parts of the brain, in a way that I think no other museum can.”

Chris Griffin CEO of the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
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"Now that we’re settled in the new premises, we plan to grow our educational delivery considerably at all levels. We’ve already seen an increase in corporate users visiting the museum for creative sessions and in private event hires.

“We’re also looking to scale up our work with dementia sufferers, working with major organisations. Dementia is a very significant and sadly growing area and it’s something we believe the museum can help with significantly. We’re a valuable and unique resource, because people relate to the items in our museum in such a personal way. It’s the everyday things that will stimulate parts of the brain, in a way that I think no other museum can. The whole team is undergoing dementia training, which will enable us to deal with people with dementia; how to relate to them, their organisations and their carers and the issues we should expect and be ready to tackle.

“I would and already have recommended Charity Bank to other organisations like us."

Chris Griffin CEO of the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

“I would and already have recommended Charity Bank to other organisations like us. We got the impression that there were more people working on the case, but we only dealt directly with two. When we said something, they understood what we were talking about, because they were the ones we’d briefed originally. Working with the Charity Bank team was tight, efficient and ultimately effective.”