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Brands Use the Yayoi Kusama Exhibit to Stand Out Amongst Competition

Brands Use the Yayoi Kusama Exhibit to Stand Out Amongst Competition

3 Minute Read

  • The world-renowned Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors Exhibit is now live at the AGO in Toronto, attracting sponsorship attention and hundreds of thousands of fans in the city.
  • RBC stamps itself further within Arts and Culture by being the leading sponsor.
  • Shiseido leverages the exhibit’s design in product packaging to gain brand awareness.
  • Diet Coke sends Toronto influencers to the exhibit in order to support the launch of the brand's new packaging design.

The Yayoi Kusama Infitiniy Mirrors touring exhibit has arrived in Toronto as the only Canadian stop at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Yayoi Kusama is a contemporary artist from Japan whose work has been celebrated from art lovers around the world.  When the tour was announced late in 2017, it caused a frenzy in Toronto with the first 100,000 tickets released becoming sold out in three hours.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors provides visitors with the unique opportunity to experience six of Kusama’s most iconic kaleidoscopic environments at once, alongside large-scale, whimsical installations and key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present. It also marks the North American debut of numerous new works by the 87-year-old artist, who is still actively creating in her Tokyo studio. (AGO)

Check out some photos captured by #HumansOfMKTG who visited the exhibit

This exhibit is not only attracting fans, but sponsors in Canada. RBC is a multi year sponsor of the AGO and lead sponsor of the Infinity Mirrors Exhibit with Shiseido and Diet Coke belonging to the subsequent tier of supporting sponsors. MKTG explores how RBC, Shiseido and Diet Coke are using the exhibit currently to differentiate themselves in market.

RBC's leading sponsorship stamps themselves further within Arts and Culture

RBC uses their leading partnership with the Yayoi Kusama exhibit to showcase a strong dedication to community involvement within the arts and culture scene of Toronto. RBC currently invests heavily within various art forms such as acting, visual art and music. This exhibit brings mass attention to RBC's contribution to arts and culture due to the brand standing behind the exhibit which is has been extremely impactful with Canadian consumers. The sponsorship provides the opportunity for RBC to validate their on-going strategy.

Shiseido leverages the exhibit’s design in product packaging to gain brand awareness

Japanese based beauty brand Shiseido used the famous Kusama polka dot design in limited edition careset packaging available at Hudson Bay stores and the AGO on-site retail store. The caresets contain a variety of the brand’s best sellers from lipstick to skincare.

Source: The Point

Source: The Point

Shiseido is an imported luxury brand from Japan, but is currently not a best seller with Canadians. With the beauty industry being over saturated with hundreds of brands, it can be difficult to stand out. Shiseido leverages their partnership and IP rights (polka dot design) to create a collaboration that has helped to create a positive impact as the brand has seen a 33% increase in sales as a result of this partnership (SMCC). The strategy of this collaboration is timely and aligns well as the artist of the exhibit is from the same country of the brand's origin, Japan. A moment in time where Canadians are embracing and enjoying exotic art has allowed the shift into beauty where consumers may be more willing to try an imported line of skincare. Shiseido leverages the exhibits brand equity and popularity to create a unique product line that has resulted in a higher brand awareness and sales for Shiseido.

Diet Coke Brings Influencers to the Exhibit to Supplement New Packaging Launch

Diet Coke used their partnership to enhance the launch of new cans for 2018. The brand sent Toronto Influencers to the exhibit which created a large push on social with every post tying back to the Diet Coke brand and new campaign hashtags such as #fizzingdelicious. An observation MKTG made is that the colours of the newly designed Diet Coke cans align with colorful "Obliteration Room" influencers were taking photos in.


Diet Coke showcases how a brand can leverage a property (in this case, the AGO) as a high end hosting opportunity by engaging influencers and in future, potentially using employees and other key stakeholders in other social media campaigns.

Sponsorship allows brands to uniquely differentiate themselves in the market, with immediate results such as sales increase. Both RBC, Shiseido and Diet Coke use their sponsorship with the Yayoi Kusama exhibit wisely by leveraging the exhibits assets and design elements while successfully communicating their unqiue brand messaging.

Picks of the Week: April 16, 2018

Picks of the Week: April 16, 2018