Friday, March 11, 2011

More Art Advertising

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the billboard for the Fourteen11 student show. I just saw another ad for an art exhibit in an unexpected place--on Facebook.


When you click on the add, it doesn't take you to Barbara Davis Gallery, it takes you to Todd Williamson's Facebook Page. A quick check at the Barbara Davis Gallery website doesn't say anything about this show (more than a month away), but Williamson was part of the group show that just ended there.

So why does this ad pop up when I'm on Facebook? It's the way Facebook allows advertisers to target their ads. You can specify a location (by country, state or city), demographics (age, gender, relationship status, language, education, workplace, , by interest (for instance, "art"), and finally a budget you are willing to pay (over the life of the campaign and/or daily). Every time someone clicks on that ad, you pay down a little of the budget. Presumably the ad stops running once you have hit the budget cap. (This is so easy, I might try it for The Great God Pan Is Dead. Call it an experiment. And if my number of "followers" increases, I'll call it a success.)

What is interesting here is that in both the Fourteen11 billboard and the Todd Williamson Facebook ad, it was the artists and not the galleries who took out the ad. Artists may not like the idea of self-promotion like this, but I suspect it's going to be a permanent part of the world of art from now on. The issue is how to keep from seeming totally crass (unless crassness is part of your artistic identity, like Mark Kostabi). It's all part of personal brand management, which is an irksome concept but one we all participate in every time we update the old resume or join Linkedin.

submit to reddit


  1. Good looking artist
    too many galleries
    vapid work
    say no more

  2. Ha--you aren't the only one to comment on his looks. His art (from what I can determine from looking at his website) doesn't thrill me, but I wrote this post neither to condemn or condone his work. Rather, I am always interested in how art (and artists and galleries and institutions) situate themselves in the world--and that includes how they promote themselves.