“A Painting’s Worth a Thousand Photos”

-Michael F

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is hosting a photo contest called ‘Get Closer.’  The promotion invites Met visitors to submit a photo of one detail in a single work of art from the Met’s permanent collection that captures imagination, along with a photo of the full work of art and a brief text (approximately 50 words) describing why that detail is compelling.  The Museum will then select five winners, whose entries will appear on the Met’s website. Each winner will receive a one-year Individual Museum Membership.

‘The Crucifixion with Saints and a Donor” (Joos Van Cleve, oil on wood, 1520) is featured in this post as an example submission.  The participant called out how the cracking of the paint is a remarkable detail that only adds to the work’s beauty.  The ‘close up’ photo really brings this observation to life!

Why I’m Curious:

This program interested me first and foremost because it is really effective at getting brand advocates to tell the brand story in an organic way.  As I read through the entries on this page, it feels as though the visitors are becoming the curators.  This reversal of roles is a really interesting and bold play for an institutional organization like a museum.

I’m also really impressed by the resourceful execution on Tumblr.  Photo contests are discussed all the time but it often seems like development and execution is viewed to be a large hurdle that requires significant planning.  This approach to photo contests on Tumblr is effective and it also seems as though it could be developed on the turn of a dime.  For those unfamiliar, Tumblr is a blog platform where anyone can post to your blog space.  While Tumblr will not host the fullfillment aspect, the Met’s selection process is based on judges, which allows the program more flexibility.

Overall, this program is really effective at driving marketing value; it facilitates awareness of pieces in the collection, engagement for viewers to play the role of curator, and it also drives consideration by making membership the prize of the program.

Share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s