• Maria Hvorostovsky

Banksy’s Marketing Masterclass: Lessons from His Shredding Stunt.

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

In case you missed it (which I doubt) a few weeks ago Banksy triggered one of his paintings to self-destruct, after it had just sold for more than £1 million.


And what happened? It doubled in value and immediately became the most in demand piece of conceptual art on the market.


So, what can we learn from Banksy’s shredding stunt?


It’s a ‘must have’


Whether it’s clothes, cosmetics, shoes or services we’re all trying to sell something. How can we make our product truly desirable, turning it into a ‘must have’ in the eyes of the consumer?


Marketing is all about standing out from the crowd. Instead of replicating what others are doing the marketing genius will instead blaze their own path and try to establish a unique identity. And Banksy nailed it.


While Banksy’s paintings were clearly already coveted his stunt made his painting more exclusive and totally unique. His painting was the first piece of art that was made live in an auction - with the final piece being a shredded version rather than the 'original' intact in a frame.


He entertained, made a statement and promoted his work in a way no other artist had done before. Something myself and others queued for hours to go see.



Banksy’s marketing masterclass


Banksy’s stunt reminds us all to consider the following when trying to make our product stand out:

  1. Do what your competitors won’t do – try something new and be willing to fail. If you want to claw business away from your competitors playing it safe won’t work

  2. Get creative – come up with a new and different concept to gain publicity; others have tried YouTube campaigns, sticker graffiti, flashmobs, quirky adverts, puppets, theatre stunts, apps, sculpture. Make sure it’s something that epitomises your philosophy

  3. Provide a talking point – the main purpose of a unique or exclusive item is not necessarily profit; instead it’s intended to provide a talking point which can be used to increase brand awareness

  4. Celebrity influence – other people talking about your brand is always going to be more effective than any endorsement you might give it

  5. Be specific – make sure your marketing strategy is targeted at a super specific audience to ensure maximum returns from the campaign

  6. Elite sales channels – an exclusive product requires exclusive promotion. For example, consider discrete PR channels for ‘exclusive’ items and specialised show rooms

  7. Limited editions – making small numbers of time limited items have been shown to increase demand. You might also want to consider a new brand name for new products

  8. Link it to an occasion – piggy-back off the publicity surrounding a specific event and market and link your product to this

  9. Tell a story – use advertising to sell an experience rather than the product, tapping into people’s emotions and making it about them

What quirky ideas have you used to promote your products? Which ones have worked and which ones haven’t? We’d love to hear from you.



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