The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertisingprovides a fascinating insight into how everyday lives have changed over the past 200 years through the evolution of consumer brands.  Through exhibits showcasing historic and contemporary household packaging, toys, magazines, newspapers, technology, travel, fashion and design, a fascinating picture emerges, creating a visually stimulating and thought-provoking experience, and for many an emotional and nostalgic reunion with their past.

“The Museum’s aim is to create a community engaged with its brand heritage through the shared experience of consumer culture,” says Theresa Macauley Museum Manager. “We will achieve this vision by using the Museum’s collection to inspire learning through an entertaining and innovative programme set within a modern, world-class museum.”

Accessibility and better facilities were often flagged as an issue at the former Coleville Mews site, as well as better lighting for the displays, and with these items being addressed, the new site has scope for future expansion to adapt to evolving needs. Visitor access has been improved by a highly visible location, just two minutes from Ladbroke Grove tube station.

“The Museum had been looking for a new, larger location for several years,” says Macauley. “In response to stakeholder and visitor feedback our objective was to relocate to somewhere with better access, higher visibility, increased exhibition space, room for better facilities, larger venue space, dedicated learning space and to increase annual visitor capacity from 42,000 to eventually 200,000.”

Over the coming years the museum projects direct visitors of 57,000 in 2016, 86,000 by year 2018 and 125,000 by year 2021. The museum aims to maintain schoolchildren and students as one third of the total audience.

The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising is an educational charity that works with the local, national and global community to deliver engaging learning experiences related to its displays. More than half of the funding needed for this project has been raised thanks to corporate founders Diageo and DS Smith, along with grants from the John Lyon’s Charity and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

To further its educational offer the new home sees the launch of the museum’s first dedicated learning space, which means the Museum can now offer creative sessions Monday-Friday for learners of all ages along with reminiscence, family and community use. Group visit capacity has also tripled to 12 groups per day.

We’re proud to unveil the new Museum of Brands. With increasing visitor numbers, the new space has provided the opportunity to vastly improve the visitor experience and to present a brand new way of understanding British culture and lifestyle since the Industrial Revolution. With such a mass of material, it enables a variety of subjects to be put into context

Consumer historian and Museum founder Robert Opie

Charting the history of popular brands from the 1800s, the museum can draw attention to ones that have survived and those that are no longer with us: brands include Lyon’s individual fruit pies, Oxo, an array of Cadbury’s chocolate, Spangles and Watney’s Party Seven all on display among a total of 14,000 other items of daily life spanning two centuries of British consumer culture.

“More of the collection is on show, in bigger galleries and via an advertising screening room,” says Macauley. “The Museum’s ‘Time Tunnel’ starts with the advent of mass production during the Victorian era and is presented chronologically, this has been extended and we’ve added new 2000 and 2010 galleries, helping connect with younger visitors.”

The visitor experience has been improved vastly with the introduction of the museum’s first café, offering fresh food daily, with seating for 30 indoors plus 30 in our award-winning microclimate garden, and the retail space is 2.5 times bigger.

To fund the new Museum, the museum secured two corporate partners: British multi-nationals Diageo, owners of heritage brands that include Guinness, Pimm’s and Johnnie Walker, and DS Smith, a leading provider of corrugated packaging, recycling services, paper and plastics. Grants partners include the Garfield Weston Foundation and the John Lyon’s Charity.

The relocation and renovation project was budgeted at £1.6m to refit 2,040 m² for use as a Museum. The museum secured the new premises in March 2015 and the public launch of the new space will take place over the Easter Weekend.

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Key features of the museum:

  • The Time Tunnel

A new look extended Time Tunnel will transport visitors through wars and coronations, changing fads and fashions, the coming of cinema, radio and television, the dramatic rise of branding and marketing, the spread of cheaper travel, the evolution of magazines and newspapers, and an endless stream of innovations that have made things more convenient for millions.

  • Channels to the Consumer

British multi-national Diageo, owners of heritage brands that include Guinness, Pimm’s and Gordon’s Gin, are supporters of the exhibition space ‘Channels to the Consumer’, which features a case study exploring two hundred years of promoting the Johnnie Walker brand and an advertising cinema charting 60 years of iconic TV campaigns.

  • Branding Histories

The history of the British brand told via its packaging.

  • Brand Origins

The Brand Origins space tells the story of our best-loved brands. What makes a brand resonate with the public? Is it the name, colour, shape? Where do brands get their names from and what happens when a brand changes its name? Remember when Marathon bars became Snickers and Opal Fruits were renamed Starburst?

  • Packaging Innovations

Listening to consumers needs, manufacturers have made their products faster to open and better to reclose, quicker to dispense and easier to dispose of. Packs have become attractive objects kept for pleasure and even adapted for ongoing use when empty. Yet, in our competitive society, manufacturers have continually strived to reduce their costs and keep packaging to a necessary minimum, while maintaining the primary need to protect the product through each stage of its journey, ultimately delivering goods to the consumer.

  • New Venue Spaces

The new Museum of Brands is a unique venue for a variety of venue hire and events. DS Smith, a leading provider of corrugated packaging, recycling services, paper and plastics, are confirmed as a founding sponsor.  With innovation at its heart, DS Smith are keen supporters of the Museum of Brands conference venue, a destination that provides inspirational and stimulating spaces that help brands succeed.

  • New Learning Space

With the launch of a dedicated learning space the Museum can now offer creative sessions Monday-Friday. Sessions last one hour and are followed by entry into the Museum with subject-specific worksheets. The DS Smith Charitable Foundation has also confirmed that it will sponsor learning activities at the Museum

  • New Café

The new Museum café and garden offers a quiet haven away from the bustle of Portobello Road.