Case Study: Revs - Big Sea | Inbound Marketing & Digital Development

Launch the site

The Revs Institute for Automotive Research

The Revs Institute for Automotive Research in Naples, Florida is a destination for automobile connoisseurs, researchers and enthusiasts the world over. The Institute’s Collier Collection, named for Miles Collier, its founder and chair, includes more than one hundred of the rarest and most historically important automobiles ever built, from Deusenbergs to Porsches and beyond.

The Institute also boasts one of the finest automotive research libraries in the world: a vast repository of more than 7,000 books and 300,000 photographs.

And since 2011, the Institute has furthered automotive research through its partnership with Stanford University on The Revs Program at Stanford.

The site needed to appeal to connoisseurs, researchers and scientists, and car aficionados alike, so we adopted a tone and structure designed to engage without oversimplifying.

Balancing access with preservation

The Institute had an existing website, but its limited focus on research and scientific study of the collection did not suit Mr. Collier’s new vision for the museum. That new vision called for a new site, one that appealed to researchers, car aficionados, and the general public alike.

The Institute’s world-class collection and library had long been available only to scholars and private tour groups. Recognizing the broader appeal of historic automobiles, as well as the benefits of bringing the Institute’s philosophy of preservation and research to a wider audience, Mr. Collier decided to make the collection available to the public.

Mr. Collier’s vision was twofold—to open the physical location in Naples to public tours, and to build an online museum so that people could experience the collection and library from virtually anywhere.

Because the automobiles at the Institute are exhibited without barriers of any kind, the client wanted to use advance bookings in controlled numbers to prevent overcrowding and possible damage to the vehicles in the collection. Aware that visitors would have a more enriching museum experience with a docent’s guidance and insights, the Institute wanted to encourage visitors to book docent-led tours. As a result, the new site had to include a way for visitors to book tours—preferably docent tours—in advance of their visits.

Beyond four walls: Big Sea creates a scalable digital museum

We knew the Institute needed a system that would scale as they digitize their vast library. The custom WordPress-based website we built enables the Revs Institute to create a place to spotlight each automobile in the collection, complete with photo and video galleries, important facts and more.

Visitors can now see the relationships among all elements of the collection—the automobiles, the artifacts and ephemera, the books and documents—and develop a deeper understanding of both the collection itself and automobile history as a whole.  We also highlighted the Institute’s relationship with the Revs Program at Stanford University so that researchers can get an idea of the depth of their historical collection.

Small Delights

When you have the screen space, the navigation expands to reveal other dropdown menu items.

Mobile navigation is cleanly hidden, and just a tap away when you need it.

Uncover interesting car facts in these random car features we created.

We chose responsive design for this site so that the growing number of visitors on mobile and tablet devices enjoy a beautiful, streamlined experience. We understood that visitors accessing the site via small mobile devices were more likely to be seeking information about visiting the museum in Naples, so we ensured that the museum’s location and directions were easy to find on the mobile homepage.

Finally, we helped Revs implement an online ticketing and tour-booking system through Altru, which helps the Institute prevent crowding by limiting the number of guests in the galleries at any one time.

A win at the finish line

News of the Revs Institute’s opening hit the national media (which is perhaps unsurprising, given its status as one of the three premier automobile collections in the world, and the best in the U.S.), and analytics on the new site reflect all the buzz.

While the new site’s traffic may be “out of control,” the crowds at the museum in Naples aren’t: the online ticketing system has enabled the Institute to manage the number of visitors to the museum in just the way that they had hoped.

+300% Site Traffic
+30% Mobile Traffic
-24% Bounce Rate

We are incredibly proud to help present this rare and significant collection to the world and play a role in shaping automotive history.

Our custom WordPress site will continue to empower the Revs Institute with a simple way to add more content so that as the Institute adds items, visitors will begin to experience the full scale and significance of this rare and renowned collection. The Institute has already heard cheers from volunteers and research partners at Stanford and elsewhere, all of whom were eager to share the collection outside of Naples.