A campaign by The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg) for the Absa L’Atelier, an annual art competition, saw a 40% increase in submissions this year. Called ‘Creating Art is Like Giving Birth’, the campaign was the key to inspiring a significant rise in interest from young South African artists while giving them a platform to launch their careers.
‘Creating Art is Like Giving Birth’, explored the idea that the process of creating art is like bringing a child into the world: the artist created it from nothing, they spent hours producing it and it’s a reflection of themselves and their views; at the end, they have an affinity for it – just like a child.
“We interviewed artists to gauge the emotional experience of making their art. And Absa afforded us the opportunity to express this fully – the campaign was certainly bold for a bank,” said Dana Cohen, art director at Jupiter.
Jupiter inspired young artists by using three previous Absa L’Atelier winners’ artworks, which they personified to create real “art children”. These interpretations appeared in the print, digital and video campaign.
The print advertisements contained QR codes that enabled readers to watch videos from their mobiles about the three previous winning artists’ and their work. The online campaign allowed the Absa L’Atelier entrants an opportunity to explore previous winners’ works as well as the campaign. Jupiter subsequently was a winner at the Creative Circle’s ad of the month for experiential and print.
In order to encourage even more entries into the competition, the advertising agency asked 24 well-known artists to create their own art children that were exhibited at the Design Indaba Expo 2012. The proceeds collected from the sale of the artists’ interpretations went to supporting the emerging artists.
“In terms of the banking industry, Absa is the largest investor in South African Art. This year, we really wanted our Absa L’Atelier creative campaign to reach more people and encourage a significant growth in entries. We have been overwhelmed with the response,” said Paul Bayliss, Absa Art Gallery Curator.
“We wanted The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg) to have freedom of creativity for the campaign. Often, agencies are not allowed too much leeway, but we were thrilled with the outcome. Art is the pulse of this country, and we will continuously support the growth and development of it,” said Anisha Khan, Absa marketing consultant.
Absa L’Atelier’s overall winner receives R110 000 and an artist’s fellowship to Paris, France.