Brand: Brooklyn Museum
Execution: Online Viral
Target: New York Museum Goers
Reviewer: David Vinjamuri
The newest in a series of intriguing online marketing initiatives for the Brooklyn Museum, Click! is an exhibition taking place from June 27 – August 10, 2008 which will be crowd-curated until May 23rd, 2008. A full description from the Brooklyn Museum Website:
Click! is a photography exhibition that invites Brooklyn Museumâ€™s visitors, the online community, and the general public to participate in the exhibition process. Taking its inspiration from the critically acclaimed book The Wisdom of Crowds, in which New Yorker business and financial columnist James Surowiecki asserts that a diverse crowd is often wiser at making decisions than expert individuals, Click!Â explores whether Surowieckiâ€™s premise can be applied to the visual artsâ€”is a diverse crowd just as â€œwiseâ€ at evaluating art as the trained experts? Click! is an exhibition in three consecutive parts. It begins with an open callâ€”artists are asked to electronically submit a work of photography that responds to the exhibitionâ€™s theme, â€œChanging Faces of Brooklyn,â€ along with an artist statement.
After the conclusion of the open call, an online forum opens for audience evaluation of all submissions; as in other juried exhibitions, all works will be anonymous. As part of the evaluation, each visitor answers a series of questions about his/her knowledge of art and perceived expertise.
Click! culminates in an exhibition at the Museum, where the artworks are installed according to their relative ranking from the juried process. Visitors will also be able to see how different groups within the crowd evaluated the same works of art. The results will be analyzed and discussed by experts in the fields of art, online communities, and crowd theory.
Necessity begets creativity and so it is perhaps not surprising that one of the most creative series of new media marketing initiatives in recent memory comes from a budgetary-constrained arts institution, the venerable Brooklyn Museum. The Click! exhibit shows that meaningful online interactivity can be as simple as asking the public to choose the works for an upcoming exhibit, thus giving them a stake in the outcome and a good reason to visit.
This advertising blog does not give many five-star ratings, and this one is earned not just for the clever use of the online medium, timely jump onto a popular bandwagon (crowdsourcing) and strategic pandering to a popular author (James Surowiecki) but for the continuation of a two year series of clever, low-budget new media initiatives which have effectively served to position the Brooklyn Museum as a daring innovator among its peers.
Even better for students of new media, the museum has documented the journey along with its results in an excellent white paper. This type of sharing is rare in the private sector and much needed in an industry where most of the big advertisers are struggling to understand the online medium.
The best parts of the Brooklyn Museum’s approach to using new and emerging media is its focus on simplicity – from the cellphone tour to the crowd-curated exhibit. It is a refreshing change from some of the lavish but unnecessary innovations foisted on us by the Fortune 100.
Although straightforward, the website for the Brooklyn Museum is not nearly as innovative and user friendly as the online exhibits.
Branding Bottom Line:
The Brooklyn Museum makes us wonder what we got for the last million we spent with our online agency.