Engage Your Audience: Encourage Fan Art Like These Top Brands

dexter fan artFan art is truly the highest compliment and can be valuable for business. Fan art contests or promotions can engage your audience, build a brand community, or create anticipation about a new release. Recent examples of businesses using fan art include Regal Entertainment, Showtime, NBC, and Blizzard Entertainment.

Can Fan Art Work for Non-Entertainment Industries?

Short answer: Yep. Long answer: Absolutely! Art comes in all forms these days. If selling a product, asking customers to send in pictures while using the product or displaying it in their home is a great way to incorporate fan art into increasing brand awareness. Does your business provide a service? Customers can send in a design for a company T-shirt or the next logo.

Fan art inspires customers to spend time thinking about the business, how it relates to them, and produce something as a result. Incentives for the best art, such as exposure or brand-themed gifts, can be great motivators and generate submissions. Fan art is a win-win for everyone. Let’s take a look at how these companies are using fan art to fuel the fire of their brand.

Use Fan Art to Announce Something New

Regal Entertainment smartly employed a fan art campaign entitled the “Regal Fan Art Challenge,” asking movie goers to send in their artistic submissions for the new film “Riddick” set to hit theaters September 2013. Regal Entertainment received over 800 submissions. Mer Jorgensen, the grand prize winner, was announced yesterday, and won a framed poster featuring her work signed by Vin Diesel and a trip to LA. Nearly two weeks prior to the release of “Riddick,” Regal Entertainment has effectively sparked curiosity and anticipation in its target audience through fan art.

Engage Consumers with Fan Art

The subject matter of Showtime’s “Dexter” should no doubt remain on a premium channel. However, something about the hit series has reached into the hearts of fans since its start as an animated web series. Dexter’s transformation during the show’s 8 seasons has been astounding and the variation in fan art only proves it. Despite its gruesome factor, the “Dexter” Facebook page received thousands of submissions.

Similarly, NBC’s “Community” uses Tumblr to allow fans to submit fan art that is later archived on the site. In this way, NBC engages consumers on a consistent basis using fan art as a tool for inspiration. Fans of “Community” who want to flaunt their artistic skills are rewarded by having their work posted on the fan art site.

Fan Art Builds a Brand’s Community

Blizzard Entertainment is known for creating PC and online games such as World of Warcraft, the Diablo series, and Starcraft. By nature, gaming is all about graphics. Gamers everywhere have been inspired to create fan art to encapsulate their favorite characters. Blizzard took note of this trend and reinforces their community by hosting fan art contests throughout the year.

How can your business or brand engage with your audience through fan art or design contests?

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Victoria Schleicher is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a BA in Psychology. Although Victoria was successful in the mental health field, she chose to instead pursue her passion for writing and art, and is happy to be a part of the Content Equals Money team. When not writing, Victoria likes to create art, play with her cat, read, and go running.

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