Day by day, it becomes harder for brands to differentiate themselves from others in a busy marketplace. As a result, they turn to artists to form long-enduring creative partnerships that help bring bold ideas to life, convey new messages, and win their customers’ trust.

For a perfect marriage between the two, the brand should ensure they have a shared set of values and that the artist can find new meaning in the brand’s work; all to present a unique aesthetic experience.

Want to see how it works in practice? Below are five successful examples of collaborations between brands and artists. Here, you’ll also find reasons why companies should hire creatives, as well as tips on how to find an artist for your next project.

Woman taking a photo of Los Angeles

 

Why should brands hire artists?

There are two ways a brand can interact with an artist. In the first case, a company hires a like-minded artist whose approach to art and ideas align with the brand’s mission and vision. In the second case, an aspiring artist reaches out to a company that is part of popular culture with brand inspired works. Such brands include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, LEGO, Nike, and IKEA.

Sometimes, these options work well, but sometimes they don’t. Hiring an artist for a project can be a better idea because you can control the outcome. Collaborating with creatives has even more benefits:

  •   Artists can get people’s attention more easily by providing new aesthetic experiences.
  •  Artists can add value to a brand through collaboration and strengthen the company’s image by associating with the artist.
  •  Artists are typically more concept-driven than business-oriented. They are focused on art and the visual aspect of a creative partnership. As a result, they can bring new meanings and innovative ideas to the table.
  •  Artists can add a new perspective to your brand. When you don’t have to deal with figures and reports on a daily basis, you are more likely to see the creative potential behind a product.

Huntrezz Janos, an artist who regularly collaborates with brands, emphasizes the importance of freedom in the creative process. A brand should not place pressure on an artist in order for the artist to stay an artist. “Brands can both lift artists up and give them a platform for creating a spectrum of different styles and works,” Huntrezz said in an interview for our blog.

 

5 Examples of successful brand-artist collaborations

#1 IKEA Ukraine + Maria Oz

Maria Oz, a Kyiv-based animation director and illustrator, has been collaborating with brands for many years. She has worked with the likes of Mitsubishi, LEGO, Nivea, Xiaomi, VSCO, IKEA, and H&M.

 

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Публикация от Maria Oz (@dukhovnoe_litso)

In a collab with IKEA Ukraine, she recognized the creative potential of their product. As a result, she produced amusing videos that showcase her skills and vision, and authentically represented the company. Maria, known for her animations, drew attention to the opening of a new IKEA store in Ukraine, and the brand also received a creative stamp for a successful partnership.

#2 LEGO x Adidas Superstar + Leta Sobierajski

Adidas Superstar sneakers made from LEGO

Source: Leta Sobierajski Behance page

Another unusual collaboration happened between LEGO, Adidas Superstar, and Leta Sobierajski – a multidisciplinary designer and art director based in New York. She is known for her diverse, sometimes bizarre compositions.

 

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Публикация от Leta Sobierajski (@letasobierajski)

For the launch of the LEGO x Adidas Originals Superstar set, the brands approached Leta to remix the classic silhouette of the famous sneakers. Her bold ideas resulted in an interesting, colorfully charged composition that appeals to both LEGO and Adidas target audiences.

#3 Depositphotos + Huntrezz Janos

Brand collaboration between Depositphotos and Huntrezz Janos

Source: Social Media Week Kyiv website

Huntrezz Janos, an LA-based visual artist, is an expert in brand collaborations. She has been doing it for a long time and is extremely careful of the companies she works with, forming partnerships based on common ideals.

In collaboration with Depositphotos, an expert in creative trends and visual communications, she created a 3D digital creature, a special AR print for hoodies, and a mask for Instagram Stories; all of which were bound to show new creative ways to use AR in marketing communications.

 

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Публикация от Social Media Week Kyiv (@smwkyiv)

 

Depositphotos teamed up with an artist that was able to express their creative vision and resonate with their audience, resulting in a fruitful collaboration.

#4 Snapchat + Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons’s famous stainless steel balloon sculpture in New York

Source: Artnet News website

Jeff Koons, the pop culture icon known for his stainless steel balloon sculptures, was hired by Snapchat for a global AR sculpture project.

 

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A post shared by Jeff Koons (@jeffkoons)

 

To attract the attention of an international audience, Snapchat added a new feature that allowed its users to see Koons’s artworks at the sites of global landmarks in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Brazil.

Thanks to this collaboration, the brand was able to introduce people to the new creative experience, while the artist gained additional exposure among Snapchat users.

#5 Veuve Clicquot + Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama with a Veuve Clicquot bottle of champagne

Source: Veuve Clicquot website

Another collaborative project worthy of all the attention is one by Veuve Clicquot, a famous French champagne house, and Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist known for her signature polka dots sculptures and installations.

The partnership between the brand and iconic artist resulted in the creation of a limited edition gift box with an artwork called “My Heart That Blooms in The Darkness of The Night”.

Brand collaboration between Veuve Clicquot and Yayoi Kusama #1

Source: Veuve Clicquot website

How to find an artist for a brand collaboration

1. Identify the need, what you want to achieve through collaborating with an artist, and the possible outcomes.

2. Research what creatives your target audience is following online.

3. Look for an artist that has a shared set of values.

4. Cooperate with small independent artists. They also deserve attention and can be opinion leaders in their small communities.

5. Embrace the difference between your brand and the artist, but make sure there’s a balance. This way, the audience can recognize a change and appreciate the effort and innovation.

Time to get started

We truly believe that a successful creative partnership is built on common values and can lead to long-lasting projects, new audiences, and higher engagement for both parties. It’s time to search for new creators that can assist your brand in launching awe-inspiring projects and attracting new clients!

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