Kröller-Müller and the power of scale in social media

by Steve Seager on April 27, 2009 . Views: 107

I went to the Kröller-Müller Musem yesterday – an amazing art museum in the East of the Netherlands, annexed to 300,000 square metres of gorgeous forest. You really should go if you get the opportunity. Their collection of art and sculpture is truly amazing – Van Gogh, Mondriaan, Picasso, Rodin, Henry Moore, Giacometti, Gaugin…the collection is stunning. But despite this roster of art gods, I was bowled over by a painting by a lesser know turn of the century artist, Isaac Israel.

Image of Isaac Isreal painting

I had seen a jpeg of the painting, ‘Transport of the Colonials’, before, but seeing it in the flesh was an altogether different thing. The picture stood around 3.5 metres wide and 2.5 metres high. The scale took my breath away. Rather than being a nice work of realism it became a living, breathing, moment in time that completely immersed you in its narrative. You could almost hear the drums beat, the whistle blow, the chatter of the people in the background.

Just as it takes a huge commitment for an artist to create a piece of art, investing in the right scale of messaging is essential for any online business. Many clients who are new to social and new media expect immediate effects from single social and new media ‘campaigns’. Don’t believe the hype.

Social media is not the ultimate cure for all pr and marketing ills. One-off campaigns simply won’t drive business the way many people would have you believe.

However, any business or product that invests solid time, thought and energy in creating the right narrative framework for their brand stories will then be able to exploit the opportunities of scale that social media affords.

One core idea, well developed, over many channels, targeted to many communities – that’s the real power of scale that social and new media offers.

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