Every year, the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC) hosts an art tour – the Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour – where members of the local artist community open their galleries, studios and homes to art lovers from all over the VA, DC and MD area. In 2016, over 80 artists participated, making it the largest tour in the 12-year history of the event. MTC partnered with RAAC to generate awareness and drive interest in the weekend event through collateral, social media and buzz-building contests and promotions.

After spending some time imagining what it would be like to spend the weekend touring all of these amazing spaces and seeing all different types of artwork, MTC created an integrated campaign around the theme of “Explore”. The graphics captured the feeling of driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains on a crisp fall day while viewing, and even purchasing, artworks of all kind.

The campaign started with a series of three posters, each an interpretation of the “Explore” theme, created by MTC’s art director team. It expanded into a t-shirt and a series of Facebook promotions and contests that built buzz leading into the launch of the tour.

Results:

The campaign generated a 430% increase in social impressions and a 160% increase in social engagements. And the social engagement translated into real-work success: the 2016 Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour was the most successful in the event’s history, with over 1,100 people attending (a 25% increase over 2015).