The purpose of marketing is to sell. Basta!
David Ogilvy, the legendary ad man, promoted this theory many years ago and I believe intuitively that his statement is more relevant than ever.
However, today we are in a world of ‘information pollution and it’s getting harder to stand out and be relevant for a specific audience. Words, graphics, animation, videos, augmented reality, tweets can do magic but still it seems getting harder and harder to stand out and deliver a unique brand promise.
Over the last years marketers try ‘new’ tactics and strategies to combat this challenge and it seems “Art in Marketing” is the thing of the day.
Artworks and artists are increasingly becoming elements of marketing campaigns. And it’s valid not only for products and services targeting the types of elder, affluent consumers, who have traditionally been patrons of the arts, but also for products and services seeking to reach consumers in their 20s and 30s, who are already making art part of their lives.
Art is increasingly applied in Events Marketing, Advertising and more. It seems that no product or service launch is done without leveraging an art gallery, an artist studio, a museum or a concert. No art fair without sponsors. No concert without brand ambassadors. No Fashion Show without Partners. Among the brands and companies getting arty are firms like Deutsche Bank, BMW, Chanel, UBS, Dom Pérignon, NetJets, Swatch, Jaguar, Louis Vuitton and a number of hotels and lodging chains such as the W or the Mandarin Oriental.
Marketers’ focus on art is basically due to the fact that they see it as a reinvention of a classic brand. Thus it can be re-imagined into something beautiful and unexpected. It’s a tactic, which often works well because customers can experience a 360 view of a brand.
This “artistic” trend begins to play a growing role in marketing and it’s on display every year as the global art crowd gathers at Art Basel in Miami, Basel, Hong Kong or at the Frieze in NYC. Companies display their brands in lavish lounges, stage artsy dinners and mingle with customers, artist and their key customers. It’s the perfect storm to drive business or position brands in a fashionable and sexy way.
Today Art is one of the major cornerstones from an editorial-content and event experience standpoint, along with fashion and film for many companies. This new movement has been adopted not only by traditional B2C companies such as BMW, UBS and Mandarin Oriental Hotels but also by increasing number of B2B companies such as Insurance Companies AXA or Software Giant SAP. Even start-ups like Hotshot Uber participate in the world of art marketing.
Marketers truly believe that if good food, culture and art meet, then a conversation starts and hopefully ends with new business.
Although bringing art and marketing together is becoming more widely accepted, the biggest risk remains doing it in a manner that is deemed cheesy, tacky or too commercial by the intended audience.
I truly believe it’s perfectly fine to leverage Art in Marketing as long as it’s done tastefully and has relevance to the brand.
If done right, it is hugely beneficial for the artist, generates brand value and most importantly, it does truly sell.