23 Jun 2024 06:37

Advertising & Marketing

Brands as patrons of the Arts

There’s a beautiful relationship just waiting to blossom between brands and undiscovered artists. Brands need cool content and artists need to make money by finding opportunities to collaborate and winning exposure for their work.

Engaging artists to create content for you is easy if you are genuinely interested in supporting, empowering and rewarding their efforts.

1. Understanding your role as “The Brand”

When you create a campaign in silo – regardless of how much time or money you’ve invested – you are creating an asset that for the most part will only ever talk at consumers, rather than opening a dialogue with them. Becoming part of the conversation, facilitating opinion and immersing your brand into the heart of story telling is key to its success in todays marketing landscape. The easiest way of doing this is to open up your creative briefs to a global network of artists, hungry and passionate for the chance to work with you. This way you build something far more meaningful by allowing people to express themselves through collaboration. You also amplify the hidden depths of your brand, making it far more appealing to those hard-to-reach audiences and brand rejecters.

2. Motivation is key

All artists need a creative outlet. While most would assume money is the main driver here, for most artists something a little less tangible delivers far more value. Exposure and the promotion they will receive through the brand’s official channels came number one on a recent Talenthouse survey amongst its global artist community.

Second to that came mentoring. Artists are after all by nature, curious creatures that want to discover, grow and change. A collaboration that allows them to expand their skill set and which exposes them to the lives and stories of interesting and inspirational characters will motivate them far more than the thought of doing something alone, or with little feedback and praise from others.

Supporting young talent and creating opportunities for them is also great for brand image. You tick that huge box labeled “Corporate Social Responsibility” by giving big breaks to the best new talent who in turn keep your brand on point and on topic by championing your good intentions to their extended networks.

By facilitating ways for artists to make money, you are creating a new economic model not just for them, but also for you as a brand. Rather than creating a costly ad network, you create an efficient and effective “advocacy network” through which your brand message is embraced, shared and talked about positively in cross-platform peer-to-peer conversations.

In a post-campaign survey, Nokia found that 50% of those who had never considered or who had rejected the brand in the past had either purchased, recommended or would consider purchasing a device after they had participated in a Creative Invite. This was because the campaign propelled careers, gave artists the chance to be seen and created an opportunity to build a strong portfolio with a credible “client”.

3. What about the consumer?

The demand for brand content is growing and showing no signs of abating. So embrace this trend and give consumers what they want. Allow talented and synergetic artists to become a face, image or voice of the brand and an active and essential part of the brand’s communications. Only this way, will brands be able to continuously generate memorable moments that capture the imaginations of their target audiences. They need to grow and evolve with them and reflect too, the current moods, trends and emotions that people choose to be associated with.

The social equity this creates also gives consumers more and more reasons to talk about a brand in a way that reflects who they are. Personalisation has become a big buzzword, particularly in retail, with customers demanding more and more ways of making products unique to them. The trend has long been a part of TV and music consumption with people able to edit their own shows from snippets or playlist from catalogues of music. So why not give them the same variety when it comes to branded content?

4. If you love something – set it free

Some worry that if they allow people to plagiarise their brand, it will damage their image. To some extent that’s true – but we’re not talking about waiving all copyright to your logo and allowing people to fly-poster their town hall with DIY billboard campaigns. Nor are we talking run-of-the-mill, fan base UGC.

Engaging emerging artistic talent with a tight creative brief that results in superior submissions that you quality control is a very different experience. It’s actually very enlightening, often liberating and gives you tremendous insight into how people perceive your brand that you may not have otherwise had.

Ever hear the saying, ‘come back to it with fresh eyes’ or ‘get a different perspective’? Opening up the creative process to those who love you and are loyal to your brand can yield incredible results. One example being Kimberly Clark and Kleenex, which created a whole new range of tissue boxes by asking consumers to share their ideas of how they wanted to accessorise their own homes.


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