Be like Banksy, steal like an artist.
He’s practically everywhere, he’s on everyone’s lips, he’s hyped on Instagram and his sales have never been better. No, it’s not the latest trending TV campaign.
We’re talking about Banksy, the most famous street artist of the moment but also a savvy marketer with an army of fans ready to stand in queues for hours to see his rare exhibitions.
Known for his mouse in a trap, girl with a balloon and the abandoned wall which has been turned into a museum, which advertising techniques can we steal from an artist who is as popular as he is controversial?
Here are five communication tips from a person who has made communication a lucrative art form.
A young girl hugs a bomb as if it were a teddy bear, Father Christmas is depicted sleeping rough, two lovers are locked in an embrace while looking at their mobile phones: you don’t need a degree in art history to understand the message. The power of a metaphor brings the sender and recipient of a message closer, even when distances seem enormous. Why should we use corporate speak, official mumbo-jumbo and gobbledygook when we can be accessible to all?
(Banksy, Mobile Lovers, Bristol 2014)
Even a street artist can work from home. And in this case the artist’s bathroom has become his canvas, with his famous rodents climbing the walls, unravelling the toilet paper, trapped, closed in, just like the rest of us during lockdown. Because anytime is the right time to empathize with your public, especially at a time when views are at an all-time high.
(From the artist’s Instagram profile.)
Instagram is fine, Facebook too, but if my target audience is over 60, do they really have to open a TikTok account? The answer is no.
“Not on Facebook. Not on Twitter” stated the artist’s bio on Instagram, reminding us of something very simple but obvious: just being on social media isn’t enough, you need to concentrate your efforts where your audience spends most of its time
You’ve appeared on TV, you’ve been on the radio and you’ve flooded the newspapers with press campaigns. What now? Take a leaf out of Banksy’s book and take your brand out of your company headquarters and onto the streets, in strategic high-concentration areas. Wherever there are people, you can organise a viral guerrilla marketing campaign that will attract the public who will then share their photos and videos on social media. Watchword: surprise.
Use behind the scenes content and make it work for your brand. This was the thinking behind Exit Through the Gift Shop, a documentary which shows the artist at work. So why not turn the contents of your blog posts into an ebook? Or transform an ebook into a podcast? The possibilities, and the ways of repurposing our best performing topics, are endless.