Art makes a monkey out of brands

Numerous brands are eager to strike an alignment with art, especially those that have a strong central presence in key urban locations with relatively heavy footfall. Red Bull, for instance, is once again rolling out its Red Bull House of Art project in Brazil, as it teams up with local artists to develop exciting new public works.

Another brand opting for a major art collaboration with plenty of ‘wow’ factor is flip-flop brand Opanki, which recently unveiled a major new artwork in the centre of Brazil.

To promote the Pixel Show 2010, an international art and design conference in São Paulo, Brazil, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman created an oversized monkey sculpture out of the brand’s brightly coloured footwear. The monkey, constructed out of hundreds of shoes and laid flat on its back, held a dominant position amidst a clearing in the centre of a major park destination.

Art offers brands a two fold opportunity. Firstly, it enables brands to sponsor and develop collaborative promotional activity, often on a grand scale, turning eye-catching creations into brand ambassadors with genuine cultural value as opposed to traditional billboards. Secondly, it positions the brand as a curator and supporter of the arts at a time when funding for artistic endeavours is at an all time low, thereby garnering the brand a level of respect within the wider art community.

The Opanki outdoor installation serves as a playful artistic nod to the popular footwear brand, highlighting the fun aspect of the product, whilst elevating its exclusivity and value beyond cheaper footwear through a high art alignment.

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