Nationaal Militair Museum

When the Russians come

Political meddling, cyber-espionage, and displays of military power have once again put a strain on the relationship between Russia and the Western world. It almost seems as if the Cold War is back. But how do the geopolitical tensions of the second half of the 20th century relate to the situation today?

The exhibition ‘When the Russians come‘ at the National Military Museum gives visitors a broad perspective of how the Netherlands survived the Cold War. It is a step back in time to an era of propaganda, protests and the nuclear arms race. Silo developed the media strategy and campaign identity.

An everyday threat

Just thirty years ago, the idea that the Russians would come was an everyday threat. No-one knew how or when, but if they really came, we would have to be prepared. With news flashes, special objects and iconic music and film fragments, the exhibition looks at events from a political, military and social perspective. After the visit, you will realize that the world narrowly escaped escalation into a third world war a number of times.

“Uncomfortably relevant”

De Volkskrant about the exhibition


Espionage dossier

Referring to the typical image quality of the period, the campaign evokes the threat of the Cold War. The nostalgic style was approximated by a largely analog way of working. A rich collection of images from our collective memory – atomic explosions, peace demonstrations, emergency evacuation drills, and wildly gesticulating politicians – provides stills and video fragments. By combining these in layered collages, it seems as if you are looking straight through a classified espionage dossier.


History and the present

‘When the Russians come’ connects stories about the history and work of the armed forces with current themes in present society. The recognizable communication and marketing style, together with the programming, forms a clear, coherent visitor experience.

Silo has a long-term strategic partnership with the Royal Foundation for Defense Museums, the umbrella organization of the National Military Museum in Soesterberg and the other three Dutch defense museums. The cooperation aims to emphasize the quality of the museums, increase brand awareness and attract more visitors. Previously, Silo made the campaign for the exhibition about William of Orange.


The atmosphere of the period is highlighted by typography, motion, audio and the use of red.



  • Client
    National Military Museum
  • Year
  • Activities
    Motion graphics

More info?


Dennis Flinterman
+31 (0)70 3856 946
+31 (0)6 429 027 54

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