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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Sotheby's Institute of Art Video - World's First Photograph

Entered in Short Form Video


The objective of this video was to showcase the expertise of one of our faculty members to subtly garner brand awareness for Sotheby’s Institute of Art while simultaneously offering something free of educational value for viewers. The main KPIs we looked at to measure success were overall reach for brand awareness purposes, new followers to measure increased awareness from users who may not have previously been aware of Sotheby's Institute of Art, and shares as social media shares tend to mimic word-of-mouth marketing which has historically been one of our greatest methods of gaining new students.  

We determined this video was a success as it exceeded our expectations in terms of reach, shares, and follower growth. 

Strategy and Execution

This video is part of a larger strategy of short-form and long-form educational video content featuring faculty members from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. As an educational institution, viewers come to our social media channels expecting content they can learn from. We have met that expectation while also using these videos as a marketing opportunity by featuring the major selling point of the school: our esteemed faculty members. This video in particular features one of our most prestigious lecturers, Juliet Hacking, offering a glimpse into the type of information one can expect to learn from her courses.  

One challenge we faced was offering free educational content that does not give away too much information. The short-form structure allows us to keep our videos informative and easily consumable/shareable without giving away too much of our course offerings for free. Another challenge was creating educational content that does not feel dry. To let our faculty members shine and give our videos a boost of authenticity, we have allowed faculty members to discuss topics they are not only experts on, but also genuinely passionate about. In this case, viewers can see the passion shine through as Juliet discusses one of her favorite topics: the history of photography. The combination of closeup documentary-style footage, interview footage, and video animation allows for a holistic approach in getting the message across visually. 


This video has reached over 600,000 people and earned nearly 50,000 engagements across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube Shorts. The Sotheby’s Institute of Art TikTok account has grown by 30,000 followers, helping us massively in our brand awareness goal especially with our target audience in the 18-24 age range which comprises 45% of this video's overall viewership. Likewise, this video alongside our other bite-sized education videos and long-form documentary videos on YouTube have grown our channel enough for monetization, creating another potential revenue stream for the school.  

Shares were one of the primary KPIs we focused on as social media shares tend to mimic word-of-mouth marketing in terms of efficacy. This video amassed 4,777 shares across TikTok and Instagram, expanding our organic reach massively and proving we succeeded in reaching a relevant audience in the under 24 age group interested in art history education. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Sotheby's Institute of Art


Entry Credits