Christie's: Own The Controversy
HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE WAY ART HAS BEEN SOLD FOR 250 YEARS?
Hired to hype his biggest sale ever, we decided to embrace the haters. The item coming up for auction was “Rabbit”, the very first of Jeff Koons’ mirror-finish balloon animals. Rather than hype the value, we did something unprecedented – we questioned it. This change drove interest, intense debate – and ultimately a bidding war.
First shown in 1986, it caused an immediate stir. 33 years later, we reignited that debate. Art or joke? Idea or inanity? We think any object prompting such intense debate after three decades, matters. So we embraced all sides of the argument, and used every comment, good and bad, as evidence of Rabbit’s enduring cultural relevance – and therefore its value. We packaged this up in a integrated campaign, encompassing out of home, press, ambient, experiential, social, digital advertising. This included installing a light installation on Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza facade. Giant neon letters spell out the word ‘ICON’, with the ‘I’ left pulsing on and off. Whilst, a Time’s Square takeover brought critics reviews to the fore, giving everyone a chance to form an opinion.
Why sell the object, when you can sell the outrage?