51% of today's visual artists are women, yet their work makes up less than 5% of permanent collections.
This jarring disparity felt by women artists inspired action from LIFEWTR, a brand who believes "art is as essential to life as water." We began by showcasing new works from "Women in Art" on 20 million LIFEWTR bottles.
Then we created "new galleries" for women by turning media spaces into an "Open Gallery", featuring #ArtByAWoman. We launched in Lincoln Center, NYC with a 60-foot gallery wall. This live event painted a world where half of the world's art "went missing"— revealing a live show and work from emerging female artists.
Next, we shared the event film to raise visibility and invited everyone to share #ArtByAWoman. Thousands of artworks were shared on social, so we turned @LIFEWTR (Instagram) into a digital Open Gallery.
Finally, we transformed some of the most high profile OOH spaces (Times Square, World Trade Center, Wrigley Field) into an Open Gallery of #ArtByAWoman.
LIFEWTR turned the water bottle into a canvas for art. In a functional category devoid of life, color and purpose, LIFEWTR is built on a belief that came from our audience - 57% believe inspiration is "essential to living a fulfilled life." This is why LIFEWTR supports emerging artists by putting their works on every bottle to share daily inspiration for all.
Yet one group needed this platform more than any - women. Women make up more than half of today's artists—but are vastly underrepresented by the art world.
By launching the "Women in Art' bottle series with our #ArtByAWoman campaign, it became a statement for women artists to raise awareness of the challenges they face having their ideas, stories and perspectives heard.
The success of #ArtByAWoman has also shifted the approach to new LIFEWTR bottle series. While LIFEWTR set out to simply showcase different emerging artists every few months, each series has become a new opportunity to showcase artists in need of more exposure.
Open Gallery surpassed all expectations and drove the outcomes of increased awareness and conversation around the issue. #ArtByAWomen was mentioned around 8,000 times on Instagram and Twitter during the campaign period. The hashtag that was virtually unused prior to the start has become a true 'Open Gallery' for celebrating women's art. The hashtag is still used dozens of times per day, with the current total number of women's artworks reaching over 17,000, creating a thriving conversation. The video and social content sparked exchange of ideas and debate, where people supported the movement from others who disagreed about the impact.
#ArtByAWoman drove results for LIFEWTR, helping prove that a brand can drive both purpose and business objectives. The campaign contributed to one of the largest increases in brand awareness for LIFEWTR in 2017, 3% overall and 9% amongst millennials. In its first year alone, LIFEWTR became a $200MM brand - the fastest growing water brand in the category.
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