Hyper-Marketing Meets Meta-Art: Tate Tracks
By Maria Popova
We love seeing “advertising” that swells far beyond the traditional commercial boundaries of the industry and into the broader cultural realm in a way that inspires, provokes, and adds poetic resonance to the cultural dialogue.
Today, we take a lesson in culturally enlightened marketing — an inspired effort by London ad agency wunderkind Fallon for the Tate Modern. The project, dubbed Tate Tracks, aimed to get more 18-to-24-year-olds into the gallery. And it did it brilliantly, through the one medium most relevant to that demographic — music — using it as a vehicle to connect young people to art.
So they invited several prominent music artists — including Basement Jaxx, Chemical Brothers, Graham Coxon from Blur, and more — to walk around the museum and find a piece of art that inspired them to write a music track. The rest is, well, art history.
Another layer of the effort included Your Tate Tracks, a music competition aimed at unsigned bands and musicians aged between 16 and 24. The YouTube community chose 20 finalists, out of which the judging panel — Graham Coxon, Basement Jaxx, Roll Deep and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens — selected the winner: U.K. indie trio Kotki Dwa.
But what really makes this effort special isn’t just that it redefines the notion of “advertising” — it also expands the traditional conception of what a gallery is, from a place that merely collects art to one that helps create it.
Published May 13, 2009