Turning inspiring art into marketing: top 5 brands!

Turning inspiring art into marketing: top 5 brands!

Art moves us in a way unlike anything else. It has the ability to pique interest and awaken inspiration. And, at the very least, it gets our attention. For these reasons, it can be a powerful component in a marketing campaign. When the right kind of art for a specific brand is incorporated in the right way, the results can be out of the park. So, how do you do it? Here are five of our favourite examples.

1. #ABSOLUTinspire Campaign

Absolut may be one of the best when it comes to brands incorporating art into their marketing. The company even collaborated with Andy Warhol back in 1985. By 2004, it had worked with more than 500 artists on more than 850 commissioned projects. Now, it even has an e-commerce subsidiary, Absolut Art, where it sells art. But let’s look at how Absolut incorporates art into an individual campaign.

In the #ABSOLUTinspire campaign, Absolut hosted a 3-hour live stream, in which two Canadian artists transformed comments and tweets from the ABSOLUT Facebook and Twitter pages into works of art. All followers had to do was use the #ABSOLUTinspire hashtag. The result? 1.4 million impressions across social media within 3 hours and 2.3 million throughout the day. Further, visits to the ABSOLUT Canada Facebook page increased by 86% and people talking about the page increased by 400%. One of the brands many art collab successes.

ABSOLUT Inspire - Live Stream from Asylum Artists on Vimeo.

2. Vans and the HK Walls Festival

Vans is a fun brand known for supporting individuality while having a bit of a rebellious vibe. It was only fitting that the brand was the headline sponsor for the HKwalls street art festival two years in a row; a week-long celebration of individuality, creativity, and ingenuity. During the festival, artists paint murals on walls (approved by the owners) across the city.

The Vans Marketing Director at the time pointed out that HK Walls shares the same values as Vans and the festival was an opportunity to reinforce the company’s commitment to the creative community of Hong Kong. As part of the sponsorship in 2016, Vans organized the ‘House of Vans’ which featured workshops, art exhibitions, and a street market. This move a great way to connect with the Hong Kong market through street art that aligns with their brand’s essence.

3. The Van Gogh Air Bnb Project

Next, the original and unique Van Gogh Air Bnb project. The Art Institute of Chicago (ARTIC) held a Van Gogh exhibition back in 2016 which featured three of Van Gogh’s domestic works entitled “Van Gogh’s Bedrooms.” In an effort to creatively get the word out,  it partnered with Airbnb. ARTIC transformed a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago into a recreation of Van Gogh’s ‘Yellow Room” painting. It was fully-functional and truly looked like you were walking into a painting.

The room was listed on Airbnb for $10 per night with a description that sounded like Van Gogh himself was posting it. While no longer available today, the rental was available throughout the 4-month duration of the exhibition. Anyone who stayed in the apartment would get access to the exhibition. The rental dates were quickly filled each time they were released. Beyond that, the campaign made waves. Within a week of the public launch, the story had been covered by media outlets in over 100 countries. Further, the Van Gogh Bnb caused The Art Institute of Chicago to trend on Facebook and see a 250% spike in online ticket sales.

4. Swarvoski

Swarvoski launched an initiative known as ‘Designers of the Future’ in an effort to support new up-and-coming designers who show innovation in their designs. The brand creates a theme, and artists submit their work. Last year, the theme was ‘smart living,’ and the designers applied crystal technologies to our everyday living environment. One of the winners worked with Swarvoski’s cutting tech to create a mesmerizing screen of colour. It captures light in an interesting way and makes graphic shadows.This support of new designers and creations help to move the industry forward. Plus, it helps Swarvoski reach a wider audience and position itself as a leader in the industry.


5. Tiger Beer and Air Ink

Lastly, Tiger Beer and Air Ink. Tiger Beer is a premium lager brand founded in Singapore which stands by the core belief of empowering creativity from the streets- for the streets. In the spirit of this belief, it partnered with Graviky Labs to launch an Air Ink advertising campaign. Air Ink being the first company to make ink for artists entirely out of air pollution.

The campaign started in Hong Kong where Graviky gave 150 liters of Air-Ink to local artists and asked them to create murals that symbolized a better future for the cities and streets. Each mural also included the Tiger Beer logo. After a succesful pilot program in Hong Kong, they continued the campaign in London, Berlin, New York, and Singapore. In each city, art galleries full of additional Air-Ink pieces were on display. This helped to get the word out globally, with many of the largest media outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, BBC, Wired, Mashable, and Vice. After the campaign, Air Ink had earned over 1 billion media impressions.

This was a great move by Tiger Beer to live its values and associate itself with a larger movement. It simultaneously connected with its target audience through street art while supporting a larger effort to clean up pollution on the streets.

Use Art to Liven Up Your Marketing Strategy

As the five brands above, and many more, have demonstrated, art can help you to connect with with your audience. It is important to think about what type of art will best align with your brand, however, as these brands have shown, your product or service can be anything, even if it doesn’t seem tied to art.


Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how you can incorporate art into a future marketing campaign!