Have you considered debuting a new product at an art fair? Art fairs, we assume, are designed to bring attention to artists and galleries. But it turns out, creative PR and marketing folks are seeing an opportunity for much more. How do brands go about fitting into a crowd of art misfits and make an impression?

This past weekend, the 2016 installment of Art Basel in Miami Beach sought to balance art world credibility while going mainstream with big name celebrities and even bigger brand names. Once a traditional art fair—along with associated events, Design Miami and Miami Art Week—it’s is now the place to launch luxury car related initiatives, advertise a fashion collaboration, or in the case of Madonna, throw a fundraiser for your favorite charity. Influencers in art, music, fashion, and film have been attracted to Art Basel Miami for the last decade, but now luxury and mainstream brands are attending the party.

Luxury Car Creative PR Strategy

This year Rolls-Royce, Audi, and BMW showcased genre-defying initiatives and as a result broke through the chatter. Rolls-Royce partnered with artist José Parlá for their latest art installment and Audi partnered with LEGO, a brand that is receiving kudos in the digital marketing space and is synonymous with creativity. 

Our media intelligence platform indicated that Rolls-Royce won news share of voice. But it was a different story on social media, where Audi came out on top. This discrepancy likely represents differing demographics. Kylie Jenner aside, Rolls-Royce may have been going for a traditional crowd. Audi instead went after a more social media savvy set with their official hashtag #TheExtraHour and the social platform friendly “AudiXLego” shorthand.

Takeaways: 

  • Only iconic campaigns will break through the clutter.
  • Consider innovative collaborations to break new ground.
  • Know where your intended demographic congregates and how they consume media.
  • Create hashtags or associated content for influencers and audience to use for broadcast.

Jeremy Scott + Barbie + TIDAL = Winning

H&M, Adidas, Dior, and Coach were at Art Basel to launch fashion, perfume, and accessories alongside all the art ogling. But it may not have mattered; the winning fashion campaign was Moschino’s Jeremy Scott launch of new Barbie outfits at a party that he co-hosted with TIDAL. In both news and social, that collaboration captured share of voice: 87% in news and a whopping 99% in social.

Takeaways:

  • Create eco-systems with collaborators to extend your brand reach.
  • Craft campaigns that connect with your intended audience through numerous touch points.

Singers Reinforce Their Personal Brands

Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, and Courtney Love—celebrity influencers with big personalities—were among the many notables at Art Basel. Going into the first of December, Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, and Courtney Love all had roughly equal share of voice on news. But Madonna’s Raising Malawi event generated an abundance of social chatter for two reasons: (1) onstage criticism of Donald Trump and (2) Sean Penn’s presence onstage and her declaration of love for him and offer to remarry. These antics were enough to result in social share of voice domination at 86% for the remainder of Art Basel.

Takeaways: 

  • Influencers need to maintain their personal brand for continued relevance.
  • Using influencers for cause PR/marketing is effective.

Trend Jacking Works

With Madonna’s social media domination at Art Basel, it’s no surprise that she was associated with the event’s trending topics, as you can see in our infographic. But when #makeitrein and #bandofbrothers made the trending words list, it was obvious something else was going on. Turns out Wilmer Valderrama and friends decided to trend jack #ArtBasel and they ended up being very successful.

 

Takeaway:

  • Does your brand have nothing to do with art or art galleries? There’s a solution for you too. If you have influencer status and a large audience, trend jacking hashtags can work.

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