Gareth Kay at Goodby, Silverstein sent me this pretty cool execution his agency created for the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. The museum didn’t have much money and wanted to do something experiential and social. Why not? Everything any organization does to call attention to itself should be interactive and shareable. And what’s more shareable than photos?
So instead of crafting an ad campaign, or anything message based, Gareth and friends simply contacted the makers of Hipstamatic, the popular iPhone photo app, and got them to develop a Dali roll of film and donate the proceeds for the $0.99 app add-on to the museum. (The Hipstamatic app, which costs $1.99 comes with some free rolls of film, but lets you buy others, such as the Dali roll, for $0.99)
Museums everywhere have caught onto the idea of doing things that truly engage their visitors and prospects. A few years ago, The Tate Gallery in the UK got a number of popular bands to compose original music inspired by works of art, then made the new tunes available only at the museum. A neat way to entice young patrons to stare at paintings. More recently, the Guggenheim made a huge impact for itself and its partner as it joined with YouTube to solicit the best in video art from thousands of creators.
Next month in Chicago, theater artist Kate McGroarty will move into city’s Museum of Science and Industry and live tweet for a month. In Paris, the venerable Louvre has gotten into social media and apps with its free, smart phone tour of the museum, rich with content about paintings and artists. And more than 20 museums, from the Art Institute of Chicago to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, have joined Art Babble, the YouTube video site of the art world.
If you consider all the different ways museums are using social media – to educate, entertain, create community, invite creation and sharing – there are no shortage of lessons to be learned. Sharing knowledge makes you more likable. Becoming more accessible makes you more approachable. And inviting participation makes your brand more spreadable. In short, all these efforts stimulate word of mouth, extend the brand experience beyond the walls of the museums, and create stronger bonds between institutions and their patrons.
The thing I like about the Hipstamatic Dali example, however, is that it combines a little bit of everything. It gives you a quick, if not superficial, introduction to Dali’s art. It inspires you to be at least a little bit creative. It connects you to community. And finally, it crowd-funds money for the museum. Perhaps most importantly, for anyone in the business of thinking up cool ideas, it’s shows you how a collaboration among creative, digital, existing platforms and the user can yield something simple, different, and like the best art, original.