Art and marketing: A fascinating symbiosis

Extraordinary labels
© Pixabay, User: KRiemer

In the age of highly visual social media channels, extraordinary labels play an increasingly prominent role. People enjoy looking at inspiring designs, whether on Instagram, at home or on the go. It’s “art for all,” in a manner of speaking.

This much is certain: When it uses original content, stories and packaging, marketing really grabs the customer’s attention. In recent years, producers of high-percentage alcoholic drinks have especially stood out with their creatively designed labels. Now champagne and beer makers as well as water producers are also focusing specifically on the art appearing on their labels.

Cooperation improves name recognition for the artist and the product

Working with prominent, internationally known artists has become extremely popular. In such a cooperation, the company essentially benefits from the artist’s name recognition and reputation. This is the multiplier effect at work: Fans of the artist, of course, support the relationship as well. A well-known example of a company pioneering the use of this concept is Absolut Vodka. In the 1980s, the company hired one of the greats of contemporary art, pop icon Andy Warhol. The huge success of the company’s ad campaign paved the way for other cooperation with such big names as the artist Keith Haring and photographer Annie Leibovitz. Dom Pérignon also created special editions of its prestige bubbly featuring the singer Björk, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and film director David Lynch. Posing the question Kann man Kunst schmecken? (Can you taste art?), Mumm is now offering special limited art editions of its sparkling wine. Even the beer segment has joined the creative trend: Warsteiner has delighted art enthusiasts with a new initiative that it’s calling Art Collection.

Marketing – turn to newcomers and improve your image

Of course, this works the other way around as well: Newcomers to the art scene who aren’t as well known can improve their profile through cooperation. And this offers real advantages to marketing: Promoting the arts is well received by the public and greatly enhances a company’s image. Just consider PepsiCo: The soft-drink manufacturer is now striking down this path with its premium water LIFEWTR. The creative labels should help the artists who designed them achieve their breakthrough and enhance their profile.

Art campaigns beyond labels

As Absolut Vodka has impressively demonstrated, greater potential lies in art campaigns than simply label design. The vodka maker’s former company museum has evolved into the Museum of Spirits, where exhibits related to alcohol culture in Sweden are presented. The company also hosts the prestigious Absolut Art Award, and customers can shop for art at

Located in hall A2, the World of Labels exhibition at drinktec gives visitors an opportunity to explore the topic of label design in more detail. Exceptional ideas are explored in the separate exhibition area created specifically for marketing professionals and makers of labeling technology and labels. In addition, the Innovation Flow Lounge provides marketing experts with a special source of inspiration for all future-oriented marketing strategies – including the art and marketing combination described here.

Innovation Flow Lounge is supported by:

  • Döhler
  • FoodBev Media
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH

Andra Gerhards

Andra Gerhards is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She focuses on topics such as marketing for town councils and local companies, (sustainable) consumption and retail.