INFO: 01 Jun 2017 Insight

It’s no secret that over the last couple of years nearly all of our major museums and galleries have started to recognise the power of video in connecting with and inspiring their audience. Many of these organisations now upload a steady stream of original video content on an almost daily basis in an ongoing quest to keep their audience engaged and excited about the work they do. 

With so much content being uploaded however, it’s almost inevitable that many videos sink without trace, so it’s becoming increasingly important to create work that can really stand out and engage with an audience on a much deeper level.

In this blog we’re going to look at a current series of videos that have been incredibly effective in connecting with a wide audience and try to understand just what makes them so successful.

MoMA – How To Paint Like…

MoMA produce a fabulously wide range of videos, from live streamed artist’s talks to behind the scenes footage and more quirky pieces such as ‘How to tell if an abstract photo is vertical or horizontal’, but today we’re going to focus on Corey D’Augustine’s hugely successful ‘How to Paint Like…’ series of videos.

Keep it simple

The basic concept behind the series is simple and self explanatory, (the best ones often are) but more importantly appeals to several different audiences.

Whilst on the one hand the aspiring artist can pick up ideas and techniques that they can apply to their own work, the art history buff can also learn about the working practises and methods of an iconic talent.

If you can come up with a concept that can appeal to different demographics in this way you’re always going to be in with a shot at racking up those all important viewing figures.

Short isn’t always sweeter

Often we hear about the importance of keeping content short, ‘viewers have short attentions spans these days’ etc, but these videos are proof that engaging, imaginative content will find a receptive and eager audience.

With an average episode length of around twenty minutes, D’Augustine gets the opportunity to go into great detail on his subject. As such the finished videos have much more depth than you might find in a traditional ‘How to…’ video, and goes some way to explaining why these videos are so popular.

A recent episode on Yayoi Kusama has already received over half a million views in 6 weeks of being published.

Expert appeal

A big part of the show’s appeal comes from its host. D’Augustine is always insightful and speaks with real authority on his subjects, which is unsurprising when you consider he also teaches at MoMA.

There’s another great lesson here in using the resources that already lie within your organisation to produce content that really gets to the heart of what you do. There are few things more engaging with this type of content than having the opportunity to learn from an expert in a particular field and seeing them speak with passion and authority on their subject.

Never underestimate the appeal to your audience of getting to listen to someone who really knows what they’re talking about!

The ‘How to Paint Like…’ series can be found here on MoMA’s Youtube channel here.

If you want to talk to us about ideas for videos that attract and engage viewers email today.


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