Ahead of the launch of Sky Arts on Freeview, agency Hope & Glory was tasked with driving awareness of the channel among higher income households and dispelling views that Sky was simply about sport and sitcoms.
It was felt that Sky Arts, which is the only UK channel dedicated to arts and culture, should stand for something.
It should be a brand that does not just showcase art but also actually makes art.
It should be a brand that champions the sector at a time when it is most under pressure.
It should be a brand that encourages participation in culture.
And, it should be a brand that shows the power of art to overcome and triumph in moments of crisis.
Spencer Tunick is an American artist, famed for his temporary installations, usually at iconic landmarks or urban settings, in which most of the models – which can number several thousand – are nude. All are volunteers, who receive a signed copy of the image as a gesture of thanks.
Hope & Glory challenged Tunick to create Everyone Together, an artwork in the grounds of Alexandra Palace, the original home of British broadcasting, in which 220 participants would be socially distanced and wearing nothing but white face masks.
Moreover, the volunteers should be a true representation of the UK population: regionalities, ethnicities, backgrounds and ages.
Tunick was flown to London and quarantined for two weeks before undertaking the campaign while 220 volunteers, who arrived at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 12 September, completed a pre-screening questionnaire, underwent temperature checks at the site and, apart from one image, were posed one metre apart.
Tunick described the art as ‘liberating and life-affirming’ and said it was all about ‘breaking down barriers’. He added: ‘The reality of masses of people close together - shoulder to shoulder, skin touching skin - may be something of the past for now, but still the desire is there for that natural connectivity, perhaps more so now than ever.’
The installation featured in every major UK national paper, including half pages across the Standard and The Guardian, which also named it their image of the week It featured in the Picture of the Day slot in the Daily Telegraph. The BBC also ran the story across all its regional radio shows, explaining that the installation had been commissioned to mark Sky Arts launching on Freeview.
While the campaign landed over 150 separate pieces of UK coverage, including 20 articles in national newspapers, it has generated thousands of news items globally. A search for Spencer Tunick and Sky Arts generates more than 110,000 separate results.
Everyone Together reached more than 80 per cent of the audience that Hope & Glory had targeted through editorial media alone. Four in ten recalled the campaign, while 79 per cent said that it had increased their awareness and likelihood to watch Sky Arts on Freeview.
Post campaign, 61 per cent of those who had seen the activity said they were aware that Sky Arts had launched on Freeview.