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When art meets marketing

Updated: Feb 7

Margherita from Vision Factory

Author: Margherita Baraldi

Date of Publication: 17/05/2023

The Sacrament of Touch

In the past, art was a tool used by nobles, politicians and religious people. However, over time it has taken on a quite different role and appreciation. Nowadays, it has come to the point of crossing the boundaries of museums to arrive at everyday reality.

The cultural world, in fact, often merges with the world of marketing and communication. Thus, the great artists whose works have made history have become the protagonists. This is how, for example, a Van Gogh becomes a trendy watch and the Mona Lisa a t-shirt to wear.

As a result of Covid-19 and museums' closure, collaborations between the art world and brands all over the globe are becoming increasingly common. Let's now take a look at some examples.

Swatch x MoMa

Swatch offered a special collection inspired by six great masterpieces of art housed at MoMa New York. As we can guess from the payoff "from our collection to yours", the collaboration aims to bring art into the everyday world. In doing so, on the one hand, it strikes a chord with contemporary art enthusiasts. On the other, it echoes the Blade Stair, one of MoMa's main architectural features.

After all, at a time in history when restrictions have had a harsh impact on culture, offering consumers an alternative experience has become essential. The collection, as Swatch Art Peace Hotel CEO Carlo Giordanetti says, can be aimed at the purely aesthetic seeker. Of course, we refer to the art lover or artist, or the Swatch collector.

The Mona Lisa: An Icon

These days, the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa is familiar to everybody. As a matter of fact, this painting has been the subject of debate for years. Thus, the campaigns created around it can be considered the most impressive ads ever known.

Mona lisa

But, have you ever wondered how the Mona Lisa became a star of such proportions? Why is this painting more famous than others?

Mona Lisa and Marketing

If we take a look at history, we'll realize that this is a marketing campaign that began hundreds of years ago. At the time when Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, portraiture was considered antiquated as a genre. This is because the purpose of it was to document history. In any case, the portrait of Francesco del Giocondo's wife was something different. Her pose was strikingly new. In fact, instead of looking at a stranger who presumably stood at her side on the canvas, she was looking at her audience.

Thus, the cult of his figure was established and, with this, increased interest in his works. Moreover, the fact that Napoleon withdrew the painting from the museum and hung it in his room surely helped increase the painting's fame.

By 1911, The Mona Lisa had already won its place in history. However, the final impetus in popular culture was given by Marcel Duchamp. The artist painted a mustache on the painting and printed some postcards that still recur in the world today. Since then, The Mona Lisa has become the favorite model of many draftsmen, caricaturists and advertisers all over the world.


The Danish tourism promotion board made a commercial to sponsor its country. What is original about it is the slant chosen for the promotion. In fact, the invitation to visit Denmark is presented as an antidote to "bucket list" tourism. In the series of promotional videos, the great masterpieces of art from other countries, led by the Mona Lisa, invite tourists "not to go see them". Rather, go and visit Denmark.

So, what do you think about using art for commercial purposes?


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