National Geographic was gearing up to premiere Season 2 of its Genius series, this time featuring Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso. A season focused on a legendary artist meant they needed a social campaign that inspired creativity and brought fans closer to the genius himself.
ISL created an omni-channel campaign, including massive publicly activated picture frames across three major cities, commissioned work by illustrators and influencers across the globe, a Nat Geo-sponsored vacation sweepstakes, a Facebook bot powered by machine learning, and approximately 60 pieces of social content.
We brought the campaign to life by creating 16″x20″ mounted ornate gold frames that toured three cities (NYC, LA, and DC) the weekend before the show premiered.
The frame moved to multiple locations within each city, accompanied by brand ambassadors who prompted passers by to snap a photo, and find art in everyday life. Using #framinggenius, they shared it to social media, prompting others to join in sharing their own views of art. NatGeo then shared the best entries on the show’s social media channels.
He paints not what he sees… but what he tells himself about what he has seen.
Spreading the reach of the frames beyond the physical activation, ISL partnered with 5 influencers (@golightly, @lastsuspect, @swopes, @mattcrump, @inter_disciplinary), sending them each their own ornate gold frame to capture art in their everyday. They each approached it with their unique styles, many combining photography with surreal scenarios, creating incredibly powerful images shared using #framinggenius.
Who doesn’t want to win a free trip? ISL created a virtual location hunt on Facebook, enticing users to guess a secret frame location. The catch: it could be anywhere in the world. The first clue was revealed during the season premier, and subsequent video clues were dropped for 5 days.
Each day, users commented on Facebook, guessing the secret location. With approximately 25,000 views and 500 entries (all organic), users had pretty good odds! The winner successfully guessed Au Lapin Agile Cabaret in Paris, France.
One more way users could interact with the show was through a Facebook Messenger bot. Users answered a few questions about their favorite Picasso styles and their mood, then uploaded a photo. ISL trained a machine on Picasso’s greatest work, using automated image manipulation to return your portrait as “painted” by Picasso. We partnered with Facebook Creative Shop to train, configure, and continually optimize the bot with remarkable speed, making it a truly one-of-a-kind ad.
Last (but definitely not least) was the massive amount of content created using show, cast, and custom campaign footage. We created over 60 unique pieces of content highlighting Picasso’s quotes, muses, and personality through animation and closed-set cast reads. We also created oddly satisfying videos of paint pouring over the Genius logo, creating a one-of-a-kind Facebook cover photo. Everything we produced was coordinated closely with National Geographic’s media agency, ensuring a carefully executed media buying plan.
Utilizing illustrators from around the world gave us endless possibilities of styles and expertise.