Hyper-Marketing Meets Meta-Art: Tate Tracks
How to lure twentysomethings, or what Basement Jaxx have to do with high art.
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