Case Study

Petersen Automotive Museum Digital Car Week

Petersen Automotive Museum
Public Relations
Event Marketing
Influencer Marketing
Aug 2020-Sept 2020
01 / The Challenge

A Virtual Approach
to Car Week

When the Petersen Automotive Museum was forced to close its doors to the public in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic Kahn Media was challenged to promote the museum’s virtual experiences, essentially helping them create a new business model to expand the museum’s reach and influence beyond its core market in Los Angeles and Southern California.

The largest virtual event during this major pivot was Petersen Car Week, the Petersen’s digital answer to the cancellation of one of the largest and most prestigious automotive events of the year – Monterey Car Week. The museum partnered with vehicle manufacturers, renowned collectors and various concours events to create exclusive content for its YouTube channel that was released on a set schedule designed to emulate the daily events that would have taken place across the Monterey peninsula. Kahn Media was tasked with the promotion of the event to an international audience – creating buzz about the event in the weeks leading up to its launch and promoting the individual videos as they rolled out.

02 / The Tactic

The Kahn Media team worked closely with the Petersen Automotive Museum’s team and the event’s 40 sponsors to promote the schedule of the individual virtual events taking place throughout Petersen Car Week. Leading up to each event, we pitched museum collection and shop tours as part of a “The Road to Car Week” campaign, reaching out to automotive, men’s lifestyle, local and business outlets daily to create buzz surrounding the upcoming virtual events.

Ahead of Car Week, our creative and PR teams executed and produced several event videos for the museum, including a Car Week promo video, the Bring a Trailer interview with Malcolm Gladwell, Sonoma Speed Festival montage, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and a virtual car show. We also maintained regular communication with the PR teams for the partners involved in Car Week, including Bonhams, Ford, Michelin and Porsche, to provide daily updates on all partnership coverage secured for Petersen Car Week.

Once the official events began, we produced daily media recaps providing links for journalists to assets and information to use for their coverage. These daily recaps included links to the YouTube videos with timecoded notes as well as descriptions of the individual videos. We received great feedback from the media, saying the recaps were extremely helpful in putting together their Petersen Car Week coverage.

Pitch, Curate and
Promote Content


Connected with industry leaders
and key celebrities


Compiled, created, promoted
and executed content


Coordinated daily media
recaps of live premieres
03 / The Results


The Petersen Automotive Museum aired more than 25 hours of exclusive, never-before-seen videos on the museum’s YouTube page. Over the five-day span of Petersen Car Week, the museum accumulated 580,000 views, garnered 37,000 hours of total watch time and published a total of 71 videos. Sixty percent of Petersen’s viewership was from international viewers residing in 122 countries of origin and 40 percent of viewers are women.

Petersen Car Week was covered by several top-tier outlets ranging from automotive to local including, LA Times, Time Out, The Journal, Autoblog, The Drive, MotorTrend, La Opinion, New Atlas, Hemmings, NBC LA, Autoweek, LA Weekly, LA Daily News, Hagerty, Automobile Magazine and We Like LA. One of the major highlights was Michael Bodell’s live appearance on the NBC LA Morning News where he discussed Car Week with the morning anchors.

Thanks to its quick pivot to digital events during the pandemic and the publicity that Kahn Media secured during Petersen Car Week, the museum was voted World’s Best Automotive Museum in 2020 by a panel of 25 international judges. Following the overwhelmingly positive response to its range of virtual content and experiences in 2020, the Petersen Automotive Museum has continued to expand its virtual offerings into 2021, even as the museum has reopened to the public, and is working harder than ever to engage enthusiasts worldwide.

Kahn Media secured a total of 96 stories about Petersen Car Week which delivered 27,091,478,250 total impressions.

About the client:

Founded in 1994 by magazine publisher Robert E. Petersen and his wife Margie, the Petersen Automotive Museum is located in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, California and is owned and operated by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The Petersen is one of the largest and most diverse automotive museums in the world spanning over 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and featuring exhibits that explore the evolution of automobiles, motorcycles, and motorsports as well as related educational programs.  The museum’s collection features some of the most iconic and important cars from every era as well as a contingent of famous Hollywood cars that were featured in popular movies and TV shows.  For more information on the Petersen Automotive Museum, call 323-930-CARS or visit