Luxury brands are taking advantage of Hong Kong Art Week March 14-21 to promote their products in different ways and appeal to artistically minded consumers in the Chinese city.
Many brands have introduced initiatives that will engage consumers visiting for the numerous events that will take place that week. It is an excellent way to appeal to international affluents who are already looking to purchase and may be looking to enjoy themselves while traveling.
“For brands, the benefits of getting involved with Hong Kong Art Week include the ability to engage some of the most sophisticated and affluent consumers in the Greater China region,” said Avery Booker, partner at China Luxury Advisors , New York. “Much like events such as Art Basel Miami Beach, the Hong Kong offshoot of Art Basel is a place to see and be seen, giving brands an ideal opportunity to connect with core clients and launch unique collaborations.”
Italian fashion label Marni is celebrating its 20th anniversary at Hong Kong Art Basel by hosting a Roof Market event on March 14 at Pier 4. The event will be a fun way for the brand to gain publicity and remain in consumers’ minds during this time.
Hosting events is a successful marketing strategy because they do not feel as aggressive as more traditional advertising. The consumer benefits from the exchange, which makes them more likely to feel positively about the brand.
“The most successful strategies are the ones that don’t look deliberate or off-brand, and those that incorporate art and artists in an unusual or unexpected way,” Mr. Booker said. “One thing that is unique about Hong Kong Art Week is that the market, being relatively new to the global art and culture scenes, is just as much focused on commerce and business as art.”
Chinese department store chain Lane Crawford has published a guide to Hong Kong Art Week, which advises readers on which events to attend and where to see the most popular shows. The guide is a helpful tool that will keep Lane Crawford’s name in consumers’ minds while still providing them with something beneficial.
It also helps establish Lane Crawford as an important figure in the industry. With many international affluents visiting Hong Kong that week, it will likely help the brand publicize its name globally.
DFS, the LVMH-owned duty-free retailer for travelers, posted on Facebook about Art Basel Hong Kong and gallerist Pearl Lam, who is a watch connoisseur. The brand also shared a short post about Ms. Lam on its blog.
Marni shared its Roof Market on Facebook, and Lane Crawford posted numerous links about a variety of events and projects. Using social media is an excellent way for these brands to publicize their initiatives and stay relevant among young consumers.
Art Week is an ideal time for hotel brands to step up their marketing and appeal to international affluents.
For example, The Peninsula Hotels & Resorts is boosting its support of global public art with several new initiatives, including a partnership between its Hong Kong property and the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Arts that will launch a few days prior to Art Basel Hong Kong.
In 2015, Peninsula properties in New York and Manila will join Chicago, Beijing, Bangkok, Tokyo and Beverly Hills, CA with art events. Continually and consistently implementing art programs across multiple properties will root Peninsula in the subject and grow guests’ trust in its exhibition and art choices throughout the world (see story ).
Automakers are also taking advantage of the event. For example, Rolls-Royce is teaming with Hong Kong-based artist Morgan Wong during Art Basel Hong Kong March 15-17 to host an exhibit within the showroom.
The artwork will look into the value of urban development in relation to the automaker’s Spirit of Ecstasy. The display will give affluent guests of Art Basel an additional reason to visit Rolls-Royce’s showroom during the week of the event (see story ).
Participating in Hong Kong Art Week is an excellent way for brands to appeal to both international affluents and Chinese consumers.
“China is not only a crucial market for any truly global brand, it’s increasingly a global market in itself,” Mr. Booker said. “Chinese consumers are global consumers, and as they’re becoming much more interested in arts and culture, the mix of art and consumerism during Art Week Hong Kong is a huge opportunity for engagement.”
Kay Sorin, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York