National Portrait Gallery – Digital Portraiture Award 2016

“Avant Card provided a different, unique, way of reaching our audiences by engaging them in familiar spaces. The card format also provided a takeaway element keeping us front of mind, something that digital advertising does not achieve. In past campaigns we have predominantly focused on the digital space as the Award asks for entrants to create a digital portrait but branching out from this and exploring a more tangible method of communication really worked…There was an 154% increase on last year’s (2015) entries and the largest number of entries to date for the Digital Portraiture Award.” Diane Morris, Assistant Manager of Marketing Communications, National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery’s Digital Portraiture Award, now in its fifth year, celebrates and cultivates dynamic portraiture of various forms. It highlights the Gallery’s commitment to screen-based narratives and digital technology. The 2016 winner will receive $10,000 and a residency at The Edge, the State Library of Queensland’s digital culture centre for experimentation in science, art, technology and enterprise. The highest quality works addressing identity and portraiture will be selected for exhibition and displayed in National Portrait Gallery from 2 December 2016.

“The Gallery has not previously worked with Avant Card for the Digital Portraiture Award. We decided to try Avant Card for our call for entries in an attempt to increase the number of entries for the award. Avant Card provided a different, unique, way of reaching our audiences by engaging them in familiar spaces. The card format also provided a takeaway element keeping us front of mind, something that digital advertising does not achieve. In past campaigns we have predominantly focused on the digital space as the Award asks for entrants to create a digital portrait but branching out from this and exploring a more tangible method of communication really worked.”

The image used for the campaign – Untitled by Isabelle De Kleine – was extraordinary.The image we selected for the campaign was one of the winners from the previous year. We thought the work really captured the vision of the Award which is for entrants to think outside the box of traditional portraiture. It is also a very striking image. Definitely something that catches the eye and asks the viewer to investigate further.”

On Wednesday 10 August, 2016, 16,000 postcards were distributed across cafes and bars, arts and culture venues, and universities in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, targeting the professional, tourism, student and youth and gay markets.

“We also promoted the award through our social media channels, some specific arts based websites and through media releases.

There was an 154% increase on last year’s (2015) entries and the largest number of entries to date for the Digital Portraiture Award.

We were thrilled by the Avant Card campaign and the response. Trying something new is always a bit of a risk, particularly for organisation with small budgets, but the results were fantastic.

The overview supplied by Avant Card at the end of our campaign was incredibly thorough and provided detailed information on where our cards appeared and how popular they were in the different locations. This document was an invaluable in benchmarking this campaign against previous years.

We will definitely use Avant Card again.”