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In partnership with a pair of museums, Holt Renfrew is displaying a 10-foot sculpted head made entirely out of gum to promote a new Douglas Coupland exhibit.

Holt Renfrew's Douglas Coupland inspired storefront windows at 50Bloor Street West_3

The Royal Ontario Museum, the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art and Holt Renfrew have partnered to promote the museums’ upcoming Douglas Coupland exhibition.

The trio are promoting the bright and colourful installation with a series of window displays at the retailer’s Bloor Street and Yorkdale locations. The displays are designed to both help drive traffic to the two museums and “paint the town Coupland,” says Kathryn Brownlie, AVP marketing at the ROM.

One of the ROM’s marketing objectives is to find a way to bring its content to life outside the walls of the museum in order to reach a broader audience, she adds. “We thought a great way to do this would be engage with partners along the Bloor Street corridor,” she says. “There were a couple things that were really appealing to us: one was the association with a leading luxury retailer. But it was also a really interesting way for us to reach a different audience through leveraging the assets of another very strong brand.”

The store-level execution includes eight window displays at the Bloor store and a video display at the retailer’s Images owned by Doug CouplandYorkdale location. It also includes the installation of a 10-foot sculpture by Coupland called Gumhead (a head covered in gum, if you must ask) at the brand’s recently opened Holt Men’s location on Bloor Street starting Jan. 15. Signage in stores direct folks to the ROM and MOCCA to see more.

Conversations between Holt Renfrew and the ROM started over a year ago (and before plans for the Coupland exhibit started taking shape), to discuss expanding Holt’s commitment to contemporary art support, says Brownlie. Indeed, over the past year, Holt Renfrew has participated in a number of art exhibits around Toronto, and has even hosted its own (in partnership with the French embassy) at select stores across the country.

“We want to offer our customers a curated journey of discovery,” says Jackie Charest, divisional VP marketing at the retailer. “We expect Gumhead [in particular] will engage our customers and the community in unexpected ways.”

She adds that fashion and luxury are dynamic, and the spirited and playful nature of Gumhead reflects the brand’s shopping experience.

The windows and sculpture will be supported by a paid print and digital campaign, led in-house by the ROM, as well as a social media campaign supported by all three organizations.

Holt Renfrew's Douglas Coupland inspired storefront windows at 50 Bloor ...The campaign targets a wide swath of people, Brownlie says, including families (due to the vibrant nature of Copeland’s work), traditional museum-goers and modern art enthusiasts. Though the window displays will only be live until the end of the month, the paid media campaign will run through the length of the exhibit, which closes at the end of April.

Douglas Coupland, Gumhead, 2014, steel, milled foam, resin, gum. An interactive sculpture commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery