The Art of: Behind the Scenes of Turning a Museum Exhibition Into a High-Luxury Experience

The world of luxury branding collides in a collaboration between the Asian Civilisations Museum and ESSEC’s Master of Science in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD).  

What comes to mind when you think of luxury? Brands like Louis Vuitton? Christian Dior? To the students who are pursuing their MMD degree at ESSEC Asia-Pacific, the chance to collaborate with the Asian Civilisations Museum was a pleasant surprise.


One of ten teams presenting their marketing plan to promote ACM’s Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto exhibition.

The digital marketing competition was designed to promote ACM’s Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto, an exhibition that showcases traditional woodblock prints from the Edo period alongside contemporary photographs of Kyoto by famed Singapore photographer Russel Wong.

The stakes were high. Ten teams from the MMD program had to battle it out to develop a top digital strategy. Out of the ten, one team prevailed, and only one candidate from the group was chosen to intern at ACM and execute the ideas throughout the exhibition.

This was a huge appeal for MMD Student, Xeena Morales. There will be a world of difference when you’re implementing everything you’ve thought of,” she exclaims.

As the students charged towards the finish line, the lessons learned were aplenty.


For French-national Lara Dessainte — whose team’s ideas initially revolved around Instagram contests, partnerships, and the creation of personalized experiences — the challenge was to rise to the occasion of a real-world test.

Students discussing their next steps in the competition.


The competition was a valuable experience as it “allows us to see the real challenges that companies face”. 

For others, like Xeena’s team, it was a good exercise of applying strategies they’ve learned in class to a different market.


Questions like “how do you tell the story?” and “how do you create an intimate experience for customers?” formed the foundation for their strategy. In the process of answering, they challenged their conventional definitions of what luxury is, student Ng Yue Ning shares. 

“We’ve realized that luxury isn’t just an actual good. It can be an experience or lifestyle as well,” she explains. 

Ultimately, Xeena says, “Luxury isn’t about positioning, it’s about uniqueness. We want visitors to have a very unique experience from start to finish. To do that, we have to offer a strategy that is equally unique”.


Which team stole the show? Read the three-part coverage of ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s collaboration with the Asian Civilisations Museum to find out.

Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto is exhibited at the Asian Civilisations Museum and runs till 19 September 2021.

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