In case you've been hiding under a rock and haven't heard, 300 of Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings are filling up all 11 Gagosian gallery locations around the world: New York (3 locations), Beverly Hills, London (2 locations), Paris, Rome, Geneva, Athens, and Hong Kong.
The Complete Spot Challenge was issued to encourage people to visit all 11 locations. It states:
Visit all eleven Gagosian Gallery locations during the exhibition The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011 and receive a signed spot print by Damien Hirst, dedicated personally to you.
One blogger opines it would take $100,000 to visit all of the sites. Another says she could do it with $5,800.
Meanwhile, at least two people completed the Complete Spot Challenge 8 days after the exhibits opened – visiting all 11 locations around the world (US, Asia, and Europe). And you can follow others update their travels on Twitter.
Steal the Idea
Regardless of what you think of Hirst or his art, you can take a marketing lesson from this.
Hirst didn't really care about giving away a signed print. He didn't care if anyone actually saw and appreciated all of the work. What he cared about was the buzz that such a challenge would create.
Even the people that thought the challenge ludicrous wrote about it and contributed to its buzz.
Sure, it's a gimmick, but gimmicks work. They create controversy and they get people talking.
Okay, maybe you don't have 11 galleries around the word. But you could host multiple exhibits simultaneously in your own town.
How could you make this gimmick work for you?