A promotional campaign enables a message or ideas to be shared with a much wider audience. A promotional campaign is a selection of advertisements using various marketing tools that share the message or ideas to a wider target audience. Promotion is important to photographers and artists as it extends there work and name to the public view. This in turn brings more revenue to the artist. Promotional campaigns can be through posters, postcards or higher cost materials such as billboards and signage.
I have decided to review in depth the multiple promotional campaigns used to promote the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. London’s annual photographic portrait prize is provided by The National Portrait Gallery. From 2008 new sponsors have resulted in the name Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Finding a sponsor such as Taylor Wessing can be seen as powerful marketing move resulting to a wider promotional base.
Posters are the main form of promotion for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. They are printed in large format for easy reading. The main focus is on the imagery, with the text formatted along the top and bottom of the image. Included in the image is minimal text, the location, date and time, image title and prize title. The National Portrait gallery have chosen the London underground as the location for their poster campaign. This is an obvious choice due to the millions of commuters that use the tubes daily. In a location such as the underground poster layout is key. A large image is eye grabbing, this then captures the audiences attention and forces them to read the text.
The National Portrait Gallery also publishes and sells the collection of the final selected Photographs to the public. The books are sold by the National Portrait gallery in-store and online. This form of promotion allows visitors of the museum to take away the images. Then the owner will inevitably pass the book on and show the image to a wider audience i.e. a range of friends and family, these persons may then become interested in the event and come back each year to view the photography. These books are simple, mainly focusing on the imagery and combined with the Artist bio or a detailed description of the image. The National Portrait Gallery also sell previous publications of the Photographic prize at a reduced rate, this is another encouraging factor for people to explore the award.
Postcards are also sold within the National Portrait gallery shop, a postcard is very effective and has very low cost. The postcard can be received by someone in the unknown and influence that person to become interested in the award. Enabling the award to reach a larger audience.
Banners are an obvious way to promote any event, there large scale and high viewpoint makes for an obvious distraction for passers by. Combined with the correct location and the message will reach a great collection of people. M Shed is a museum located in Bristol, this is a great location as the banner will be viewed by visitors of the museum. The location will have a number of people with a greater likelihood to explore this event.
Hashtags are a great way to reach out to a huge audience as social media platforms explode in popularity. This image is taken from Instagram, this image specific social media platform is an obvious choice for promotion, the platform is made up entirely of image sharing. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is an award based on photography therefore it’s an obvious choice to promote it through a site where everyone has an interest in photography due to the target audience being prominent throughout the site. Using hashtags also encourages other users of the platform to spread the word using the specific hashtag. This type of promotion is fast and free, and can often have a bigger impact that a publication or poster. Using a simple photo with minimal text can easily attract a wide range of audiences, due to the nature of Instagram viewers often only see the imagery, this is a bonus for a promoting a photography competition as the imagery is going to be very strong. Making a greater audience attracted to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, due to platform Instagram it allows the viewer to find out more by following the hashtag.
The National Portrait Gallery also uses twitter as its another example of promotion through social media, this platform also uses the theme of hashtags. Allowing users to easily follow activities regarding the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Twitter allows users to ‘retweet’ information which The National Portrait Gallery has published, this is quick and easy and spreads the info further, boosting the promotion.
This ongoing campaign is very successful, the National Portrait gallery has almost created a brand, this has been achieved by keeping the same powerful font and designs throughout the year. When you see the posters year after year they become instantly recognisable as the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. This is an excellent promotional tactic as it is used by thousands of businesses worldwide.