Not so still life: Philips’ brand experience reinvents art in Amsterdam


86% of Europeans don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables.

That’s an astonishingly large statistic, but it takes more than just big numbers to leave a lasting impression.

In an effort to hammer home the essential role that fruit and veg plays in maintaining a healthy heart, combating obesity and preventing diseases such as cancer and diabetes, Dutch technology company Philips came up with a very unexpected plan.

The multinational tech firm staged a surprising, and fun, experiential prank in Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum; one that not only underscored its role as a proud founder of the museum itself, but also shone a bright spotlight on its range of blenders and juicers.

Philips Rijksmuseum fruit stunt 1

The brand staged a stunt that left art-lovers stunned, when it placed an illusionist at the heart of the museum and left some famous masterpieces looking really rather bare.

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit by Jan van Huysum, Still Life with Fruit in a Terracotta Dish by Anthony Oberman and Floris Claesz. van Dijck’s Still Life with Cheese all appeared to receive the experiential marketing treatment in Philips’ new Dutch masterpieces campaign video.

To demonstrate just how essential fruit and veg is to our daily lives – and the dangers of ignoring them – the brand removed almost all of the fruit from the Rijksmuseum, with the exception of a lone apple.

Philips Rijksmuseum fruit stunt 2

Then, right before visitors’ very eyes, an illusionist – dressed as a museum guard – seemingly reached into the painting to remove the solitary item, before enjoying a thirst-quenching glass of freshly-made apple juice.

Delighted attendees were soon let in on the stunt, and had the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing glass of fresh juice themselves while reflecting on the difference that fruit and veg makes to all of our lives.

“I think still lifes are quite underestimated by our visitors, whereas if you look at it, it is quite magnificent art,” commented Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum. “We very much appreciate the partnership with Philips because we feel it is such a natural fit and we enrich people’s lives everywhere.”

Philips’ inventive stunt is the latest in a long line of brand experiences to take place within a museum setting. Castello Cheese’s ‘Eat The Art’ pop-up museum and Fintastic’s Magical Mermaid Museum are two great examples, while The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida pushed the experiential envelope even further with an enchanting VR experience that has to be seen to be believed. 

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