By Danny Parisi
With Art Basel about to kick off in Hong Kong, luxury brands, art lovers and the ultra-wealthy from all over the world are congregating for the event.
From luxury watchmakers sponsoring the event to hotels offering unique deals for nearby accommodations to brands working with Hong Kong artists, this year’s Art Basel has already seen a number of luxury initiatives. The event’s attraction to the world’s wealthy elite and art collectors makes it a perfect spot for luxury brands to engage with potential consumers.
“This event has great appeal to luxury brands because it attracts the truly affluent from all over the world during a concentrated period of time,” said Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, Atlanta. “It gives the brands an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with existing clients through personal contact and to introduce themselves to potential clients.”
This year’s Art Basel begins on Mar. 29 and goes until Mar. 31. Thousands of art lovers have already descended on Hong Kong for the event, and luxury brands have taken notice.
For instance, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is offering a limited-time curated tour through some of the best art galleries in the city, banking on the influx of art lovers as the prime audience for the tour.
In another Mandarin Oriental tour, a top photographer will lead guests through the city, teaching them about some of the most photographed parts of the city.
Luxury publications will also be represented at Art Basel with the Hong Kong edition of Condé-Nast-owned magazine Tatler hosting its own booth at the event.
The booth will have a curated Art Week guide from Tatler on display as well as the ability to earn unique prizes.
Audemars Piguet will also have a presence at Art Basel, acting as official sponsor and partner of the event. The Swiss watch brand has helped design many of the spaces in which the art of Art Basel will be shown.
Art Basel will also see a number of artist collaborations.
LVMH’s Ruinart Champagne brand worked with Chinese artist Liu Bolin for campaign timed to coincide with Hong Kong’s Art Week. In his signature camouflage style of photography, Mr. Bolin captured the process through which the Champagne is made.
BMW will also be holding selections for its Art Journey project at Art Basel Hong Kong. The automaker has been a supporter of Art Basel for years.
Hong Kong Scene
One of the world’s largest contemporary art shows, Art Basel Hong Kong inspires various brand initiatives that sees luxury marketers get involved in different ways to further align their images with the art scene, as luxury and art go hand-in-hand.
Last year, The Peninsula Hotels, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Lane Crawford and Stella McCartney were just a few of the luxury marketers who introduced a series of rollouts for Art Basel Hong Kong. The range of initiatives include a variety of methods from sponsorships to social media actions to on-site installations.
For example, last year’s Art Basel saw Dior Homme collaborate with consumer electronics maker Sennheiser on a capsule collection. Similar to a statement handbag, headphones have emerged as an accessory that speaks to a consumer’s personal style, especially in major cities where streetwear has infiltrated luxury dressing.
This year’s event has just as diverse a range of luxury brands and platforms catering to the wealthy, art-loving crowd that comes to Art Basel each year.
“Luxury brands have many opportunities to take advantage of the gathering of the wealthy at Art Basel,” American Affluence Research Center’s Mr. Kurtz said. “They can present their products for viewing and testing.
“They can host events for attendees that allow the brands to have personal contact with existing clients and to introduce themselves to potential clients,” he said. “They can use the event to develop visuals and content to be used in social media and various other forms of communication to their clients and prospects.
“They can use various means to obtain the contact information for both clients and prospects. The brands can conduct market research to assess how their brand and products are perceived by the attendees.”