The art market is thriving, with notable sales making the headlines, including a Gustav Klimt painting selling in Sotheby’s for £48m. In fact, the specific Wednesday night sale for this 1907 work also netted a combined sale total of £194.7m, the highest figure for any auction in London.
However, behind these headlines, leading auction houses are refining their marketing strategies because in times of economic uncertainty, and fierce competition, they can take nothing for granted.
“There are significant costs involved in auction houses’ traditional marketing,” suggests Paul Feather of Vista Digital. “These include the production of expensive catalogues, alongside the placement of advertisements, where they can find themselves spending large amounts of money upfront.”
“They are also looking to refine and modify their brand image to appeal to a wider market than that traditionally associated with the more elite elements of the art world,” continues Paul.
Are there more cost-effective, but impactful and modern alternatives when it comes to marketing auction house events?
The New Vision
“There’s a broader interest in buying and selling art which auction houses can tap into,” explains Paul, “but it means they must reach out with their marketing.”
Paul specialises in large, high quality, Onepiece wall murals, and has created bespoke mural displays for Sotheby’s.
“When you consider the received view of established auction houses, as rather staid, elite institutions, then making this kind of visual statement marks a new visual means of marketing the auction house’s brand”
What Paul emphasises is how Onepiece Wallmurals can match the brand they represent in terms of overall tone and quality.
“This new vision isn’t designed to jar violently with what’s already there, but rather to enhance it, and to create a more dramatic sense of occasion around an auction,” Paul states.
Auction Houses of the Future
What Vista Digital offers in terms of its wall murals is part of an overall shift in how some leading auction houses are now presenting themselves as brands.
“There is a softening, and a change in visual style, in how auction brands come across with, for example, Bonhams commissioning innovative advertising on London tube stations, and even on the side of black cabs”
“I see Vista Digital having a continuing role to play in this marketing evolution for auction houses,” Paul enthuses, “creating a new sense of openness and accessibility.”
“There’s a new dynamism coming in to how these established institutions now want to be seen, with a world of opportunity for auction houses to broaden their appeal through marketing,” concludes Paul.
- Please read What is the Psychological Impact of Visual Merchandising?
- Watch the Sotheby’s installation below…