What an artist can teach us about marketing

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011
What an artist can teach us about marketing

Maurizio Cattelan is a contemporary sculptor and artist. Most people outside of the art scene are probably unaware of him. But his recent exhibition had lessons for marketers about media and message.

Cattelan had a retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim in New York. The museum is an iconic space designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibit space is part of a spiraling walkway that surrounds a soaring rotunda.

Instead of displaying his work in the traditional way, in the exhibit space, Catellan did something different. He hung his collection of work from the top of the rotunda.

The result? The exhibit stopped people. The mere fact that it was different engaged you. The display made you look at the work in a new way.

What lessons can marketers draw?

I’m not the first, and certainly won’t be the last person to note that consumers can become numb to marketing. Sometimes, our audience takes advertising for granted. Like art always appearing on an art museum wall.

If you’re a marketer who only does social media, try something different. A billboard campaign. Or a radio campaign. You might discover a whole new audience.

Or, if your messages are usually funny, do something heartfelt once in a while. Like Budweiser used to do so well.

Sometimes we just need a reminder from the outside, a fresh voice about the importance of staying fresh. So the next time you create a campaign, be like Maurizio. Ask yourself: What am I doing that’s different?