RijksTube: Is This Art?

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Make art history accessible

Bringing the museum to the audience instead of the audience to the museum and by doing so providing the target audience a service. Those were the words of the Rijksmuseum when we started this collaboration. Many millennials worldwide know about the Rijksmuseum, however not everyone can visit the museum. So, how do we ensure that these millennials come in contact with the art of Rijksmuseum as much as possible? Maak addressed this issue.

Pop culture vs. art

In collaboration with the Rijksmuseum we came up with the idea of: ‘’Is This Art?’’, a YouTube series that makes connections between the modern-day pop culture and art forms from back in the days. By making these connections the viewer is actively challenged to ask the question: ‘’Is This Art?’’. A question that is consistent with one of the most important core activities of the Rijksmuseum: educating visitors on art history. This is why we extended this objective to a YouTube channel called: RijksTube.

By means of short video essays (six minutes max.), we shed new light on subjects and objects that at first glance seem like they have nothing to do with art from a museum. A few examples are ‘Is Mumble rap art?’, ‘Are Marvel posters art?’, ‘The deeper meaning behind face tattoos’ or ‘Memes aren’t dumb, they’re art’. The purpose of these episodes is to inform and create enthusiasm with the viewer. Eventually, we leave the question: ‘Is This Art?’ up to the viewer to answer this for themselves. The feedback from the viewers is overwhelmingly positive.

Rijkstube food Thumb DEF


The most efficient way to positively affect the click-through rate and to let the algorithm work for you is by creating a strong thumbnail strategy. You can view the thumbnail of the video as the front door to your video. The thumbnail has a great influence on the CTR. Viewers base their decision to click on a video largely on the combination of the thumbnail and title of the video. Therefore, a thumbnail has to stand out. This is why we have experimented a lot and have often tried several thumbnails to get an idea of what works and what doesn't.


Project manager

“It is a very fun project to work on. During this project we also learn a lot about art history, but even more about its influence on contemporary pop culture."

The results

For a starting YouTube channel, it is nice to see that the videos really leave an impression on people and the audience starts to discuss the topics we present to them. It is already great to create a YouTube strategy from scratch for such an iconic institute and to see that this strategy also proves to be successful in its development is fantastic.

Our data shows that the millennial target group is very eager to learn, quickly absorbs and passes on information, but also seems to have little time for this. By actually making the target group our target, a format has been created with which the Rijksmuseum can really serve the target group. Close collaboration with the Rijksmuseum is essential for this project to succeed. They bring the knowledge, we cast this knowledge in the right form and deliver this package to the public.

View all content of Is This Art? on the YouTube channel; RijksTube.