Luxury Brands use Art Galleries to reach the Rich

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Makers of luxury products associate with art fairs in new branding exercise. Sellers of luxury products and services are increasingly using art as a platform to connect with their target buyers.

From wealth managers and diamond merchants to luxury carmakers and even insurers, companies are associating with art fairs, exhibitions and galleries to get access to the rich who invest in art.

“Businesses today are looking at interesting ways to reach out to quality audience,“ said Sanjay Sharma, India head at global auction house Christie’s.

German luxury carmaker BMW, for example, will provide some 40 high-end cars for pick and drop service for art collectors during the annual India Art Fair in the capital later this month. These collectors are people with money and a taste for good things in life -clearly potential candidates for super luxury cars.

Multinational insurance company AIG recently sponsored an Art Week event in Mumbai. “India is a growing market for us and we are looking to reach out to new clients by participating in art events,“ said Ronald Fiamma, global head of private collections at AIG.

The company has a “few hundred“ wealthy clients in India as a part of its private client group, he said.luxury branding

Global financial services major Credit Suisse was associated with Christie’s second India sale . 75 crore last month.of ` Sharma of Christie’s said partnerships like these worked well for both parties. “Around 500 people come for the 3-4 days of viewing before an auction. A great platform to connect,“ he said.

The upcoming seventh edition of the India Art Fair has more sponsors this year, including Panerai watches, Pernord Ricard and Yes Bank, besides BMW.

Neha Kirpal, founder and fair director of India Art Fair, said that share of sponsorship in total revenues of the event is increasing every year. It has increased to 35% from around 20% about two years ago, she said.

Brands are also partnering with galleries to spread knowledge and awareness about art to new audiences. “Joint promotions such as with Porsche, or Nirav Modi (jewellery brand), let us address newer audiences keen to learn about art,“ said Ashish Anand, owner of Delhi Art Gallery.

Indian art auction house Saffronart, too, has worked with American Express and BMW for its preview events in the past.

But marketers’ spends on art events are still very low at anywhere between a few lakh rupees to a couple of crores.

“The space and the number of opportunities are limited and even the budgets are small,“ said Kirpal of India Art Fair.

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