Vice Media Group is looking to attract more brands and marketing executives to the art world with a pop-up experience at Art Basel Miami Beach.
The US leg of a massive international art fair has increasingly established itself not only as the country’s largest art exhibition, but also as a site for emerging cultural trends.
“It’s really one of the hotbeds of future culture and what’s to come next,” said Rich Santiago, Senior Vice President, Brand and Creative Experiences, Vice. “It’s the place to be. And it’s not very well known in the advertising world. We thought it was an interesting opportunity to bring in brands and allow them to to access the potential of [Art] Basel in terms of activating and demonstrating from a really creative point of view.
Throughout the festival, which this year runs from December 1-3, Vice will occupy the Carl Fisher Clubhouse, a historic building adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center, the venue for the art exhibit. The pop-up, titled “This is not a test,” will feature programming for the 72-hour event, including several art galleries; a “living” art installation that will change during the fair; performances by international hip hop artists; and speakers discussing the future of art and music, Santiago said.
Vice is also partnering with several brands within the pop-up space, Santiago said. He declined to reveal which brands Vice works with, saying only that they would be announced closer to the event.
“It’s not about logo slaps. These are brands that are really interested in this conversation about where culture is headed and want to be part of this conversation,” added Jesse Angelo, President of Global Entertainment and News at Vice. “For brands, and especially CMOs, who want to be on the cutting edge of culture and ensure their brands are ahead of what’s to come – whether in fashion, music, apparel, film and entertainment or graphic art – that’s where it’s happening.”
Brands are no stranger to Art Basel Miami Beach. At last year’s fair, Cheetos teamed up with a street performer Lefty Out There to produce a work of art from the orange dust of the snack, while BMW unveiled a new vehicle model alongside a commissioned sculpture inspired by the car’s design. Several luxury fashion brands also had activations at the fair, including Saint Laurent, Loewe and Fendi.
As well as hosting a venue for brands to engage with Art Basel, Vice’s three-day pop-up kicks off the upcoming 50th anniversary celebration of the hip hop music genre, which dates back to the Jamaican. American DJ Kool Herc in August 1973. Throughout 2023, Vice will reflect on the past 50 years of hip hop and explore its impacts on culture, both past and future, Santiago said.
“We really took it as an experiment,” he said. “We are not trying to be definitive about the next 50 years. We’re trying to have a great time and see what the future might hold in the hands of all these amazing young creators.
Vice Media Group is the “first official media partner” of the event, Angelo said. Other partners at this year’s show include BMW, Perrier and investment bank UBS, among others.
“Art Basel Miami Beach has become an incredible cultural hub and it’s a week like no other in the United States,” Angelo said. “You have, obviously, the very high end of the art market there, but you also have an incredible class of young creatives and creators, celebrities and people who are interested in culture. There is a buzz around what’s happening in art and culture that you really don’t get anywhere else.