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Brand Strategy Session: Fashion + Art

Client Problem:

An aspiring fashion designer is deeply moved by the artist Banksy, but he has no permission to use the artist's work on his apparel. The designer is currently a college student on a shoestring budget. Client wants to figure out a way to invoke Banksy, without using his actual art.


Client Existing Strategy:

Current strategy was to use graphic artists that could create unique designs in the Banksy "street graffiti" style, but the designs were ending up like knock offs, and the clothing designer wanted something more "wow."


Project Background Basics:

If you don't know Banksy, he is an anonymous graffiti artist who creates beautiful, moving, often political-activism based or shocking art in random locations around the world. He is the artist that created a framed painting that auctioned at Sotheby's for a MILLION dollars... however, it turned out to have a shredder built into the frame and partially shredded the art as soon as the auctioneer said "SOLD!" in a shocking prank by the artist.



The INK Photo Haus Brand Strategy Solution:

The artist that my client wants to emulate with his clothing line has both a distinctive artistic style AND a sizeable component of anarchy in the delivery. The brand was delivering essentially a copycat styled product with no mystery... opposite of everything that Banksy stands for. So, I suggested keeping the graffiti/street styled art that Banksy lovers would appreciate... but to have his artists take on local (local to the college campus that this client wanted to start with) landmarks, culture, issues.


Because Banksy operates with social and political causes at the fore-front, a portion of sales being donated to a local cause would add an extra element of brand loyalty.


AND... and this is the key here... to make the delivery as kick-ass as the product and completely mysterious. Have the buyer list a couple of trusted local friends, and addresses of their home, work, school. Have a network of vetted college students pick one possible delivery option at random to deliver to at a random time during the week. So, if the student is sitting in the cafeteria at school... a masked individual in all black walks up, says "Sam Jones?" and when identity is confirmed, drops a sinister and cool looking package (a paper bag duct-taped tightly?) on their table and leaves without further word. An instant buzz is created by everyone wondering if they just witnessed a drug deal or crime. Mystery, delivered. This approach would be particularly effective if the shirts were given as a gift. The recipient would have no idea what was going on. A $10 t-shirt could be sold for $50 then, because a cool experience is included and charity donation is made in the recipients name.