Manhattan Mini Storage ads on display as part of the Wien Museum’s exhibition, “Where Things Live. The Self-Storage Phenomenon.” Photo: Klaus Pichler / Wien Museum

We’ve always considered Manhattan Mini Storage advertising campaigns works of art, and now it is official. On February 14, 2019, a few of our favorite ads debuted as part of the exhibition “Where Things Live. The Self-Storage Phenomenon,” at Wien Museum in Vienna, Austria.

The exhibition investigates not only how self-storage providers from across the globe address lack of storage space in cities, but also the universal theme of attachment, particularly to one’s stuff. Its central highlight is a collection of portraits of Vienna’s self-storage users and the ‘treasures’ they store.

An exploration of an urban landscape from the Wien Museum exhibit. Photo: Klaus Pichler / Wien Museum

“By displaying international examples of creative storage advertising campaigns, we analyze some of the main promises and appeals of self-storage providers: the promise to ‘save’ us from the ‘flood of things’ that seems to almost physically threaten people in their overflowing apartments,” says Martina Nussbaumer, who, along with Peter Stuiber, co-curated the exhibit.

Personal storage items, displayed as part of the Wien Museum exhibit. Photo: Klaus Pichler / Wien Museum

Visitors to the museum will take in some of Manhattan Mini Storage’s most popular and beloved campaigns: Storage Guru – Mini Storage, Maximum You (2018), Life in the 2010s: Don’t Trust the Cloud (2014), Bubble Wrap (2013), and Occupy Us (2011). This marks the first time an American storage company has been featured in an overseas art exhibit.

Manhattan Mini Storage is the only U.S. company included alongside Scandinavian storage company City Self-Storage, England’s The Big Yellow Self Storage Company, and South Africa’s XtraSpace Self Storage.

“We were happy to include several examples of Manhattan Mini Storage campaigns into this chapter as we appreciate the witty and cheeky way Manhattan Mini Storage addresses the lack of space in the city and our emotional attachment to things,” Nussbaumer said.  “We’ve known for years that our ads resonate with New Yorkers, and to now see their global impact underscores that we are all connected, not only through storage needs, but also in the desire to tell stories about our lives with a sense of humor.” Manhattan Mini Storage president, Adam Steckler, said.

With positive reviews in Austrian and German press outlets and hundreds of attendees in the first week open, the exhibit is poised to attract more guests interested in the questions being explored, among them: What does the self-storage phenomenon say about contemporary urban development? What roles are played by accelerated lifestyles and growing demands surrounding mobility and flexibility? And which life plans and biographical fissures are reflected in the use of self-storage facilities?

The most recent ad campaign Mini Storage, Maximum You, among those highlighted in the exhibit features examples of billboards with the brand’s newest spokesperson, the Storage Guru. “Our brand voice continues to evolve and reflect the sensibilities of our customers,” said Jason Morros, head of integrated marketing at Edison Properties, the parent company of Manhattan Mini Storage. “When it comes to creating a voice and brand identity that not only lasts but also has relevance to audiences across the globe, we need to look no further than at our New York customer base. They are the true source of inspiration for the ads we create and love.”

Where Things Live. The Self Storage Phenomenon runs February 14 to April 7, 2019.