What Art Basel Teaches Us About The Future of Marketing

5 years ago · 3 min read

Art Basel this year kicked off as it has so many prior years with a kick-off party hosted by Univision TV star Raúl de Molina. The art world elite mingled with Hollywood celebs and athletes as deals got made over handshakes and caviar. As an entrepreneur, I am somewhat an outsider to this world, looking in, feeling at times a bit like Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby.

What fascinates me every year about Art Basel though is how it predicts the marketing trends to follow in the year. On the surface, this was a party, but it was also an influencer marketing and experiential event rolled in one. Influencer dinners were held by multiple brands, including the Count Ibex Collection, the largest hyperrealist art collection in the world which includes famed artists such as Marco Grassi and Emanuele Dascanio. Which leads me to believe that influencer marketing will continue to thrive and take center stage even as brands take a more 360-degree approach to marketing.

Pernod Ricard, a premium spirits and wine company, was a sterling example of taking the 360-degree approach with their luxury partners as they co-hosted multiple events with their brand partners including Christian Louboutin and IWC  featuring custom cocktails and pairings by Perrier-Jouët, The Glenlivet and more. By supporting their brand partners, they cross-pollinated audience awareness and amplified visibility for all the brands. To take it a step further, they invited and hosted media influencers at each event. There was even an exclusive dinner for the influencers where the company ambassadors shared the history and passion for the brand in a low-key and informal way. They aced it when it came to fostering authentic relationships with influencers as well as nurturing long standings relationships with their clients and partners.

Aside from influencer marketing and 360-degree cross-collaborations, Art Basel was a mecca for experiential events. Nest Bedding led the way this year within an interactive showroom featuring Nest Bedding mattresses, pillows and sheets. The concept alluded to the bedding section at a department store with a cozy, domestic and artistic twist, disrupting the “look-don’t-touch” boundaries found in the traditional art context.  “Experiential and instagrammable” seemed to the underlying themes this year. Peter Tunney, the artist behind last year’s most Instagrammed installation last year “The Sinking of The Taj Mahal” also did a show inside the Wynwood Walls showcasing thirty years of his life via time capsules.

So, what’s all this teach us about the future of marketing? At least for 2019, we will see influencer marketing and 360-degree campaigns loom large, and oh yes…it’s very much going to be “experiential and instagrammable.”