Victoria and Albert Museum

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up

The Challenge

London Calling has supported the V&A for 20 years helping them spread their message regarding ground breaking exhibitions throughout London and beyond.

During 2018 London Calling worked with the V&A on Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up. This summer exhibition (now extended to November 2018) offered a unique perspective on the life and works of Frida Kahlo, allowing unprecedented access to person items, clothing and artworks that have never been displayed outside of her native Mexico.

We were provided with a brief to target a range of audiences throughout London ensuring that the V&A targeted mainstream art/attraction enthusiasts as well as those who may have a specific affinity and interest in Frida Kahlo. These audience groups included:

Art lovers
Latin American audiences
Feminist audiences
Fashion enthusiasts
Tourists and international visitors

The Strategy

In order to target traditional art enthusiasts and those who would have a natural interest in new V&A exhibitions we distributed materials on our Museums & Heritage, Contemporary Culture and Artist runs.

Museums & Heritage and Contemporary Culture provided key access to venues regularly frequented by those with a high cultural capital and interest in the arts. Tate, Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, Wallace Collection and National Portrait Gallery are just some of the keys venues covered on these networks. As well as capturing those with a keen interest in the arts, these networks are also essential for engaging with international tourists who are looking for a wealth of things to do when visiting the capital.

Our Artists run is part of our collection of special runs that offer very targeted distribution channels. The Artists run covered a range of art schools, academies and studios such as Royal Academy of the Arts, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Wimbledon Art Studios, LAMA and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

In order to target Latin Americans who may have a strong cultural affiliation or interest in Kahlo, we distributed along one of our Niche Specials (bespoke groupings of venues) focusing on Latin American audiences in London. These venues included the Institute for the Study of the Americas, Department of Spanish & Latin American Studies, EF International Language Centre, Embassy of Bolivia, Mexican Embassy, Azteca Latin Lounge and the Brazilian Consulate.  

As a secondary audience category we also focused on fashion enthusiasts and feminist audiences. Our Fashion run covers 30 fashion centric venues throughout London such as Beyond Retro, Heatherleys, London College of Fashion, The Fashion Retail Academy, Vintage Store and the Pandora Dress Agency. Additionally our Feminist focuses on 30 feminist centric such as Centre for Feminist Research, Feminist Library, Dalston Superstore, West Hampstead Women’s Centre, Gay’s the Word Bookshop and Goldsmith Women’s Art Library.

The Results

Over 250 individual venues targeted throughout the exhibition.

Increased awareness of the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London through key Latin American, female and art focused audiences.

The Frida Kahlo exhibition was extended 2 months beyond planned closure due to popularity.


Top pick-up venues on our Artists run include:

Camden Arts Centre NW3
Courtauld Institute of Art WC2R
Heatherley School of Fine Art SW10
Jerwood Gallery SE1
Morley Gallery SE1
National Portrait Gallery WC2H
Slade School of Fine Art WC1E
Sotheby’s Institute of Art WC1B
Tate Modern SE1
Whitechapel Gallery E1