The Art Institute of Chicago Shows Team Spirit on Facebook

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If you live in Chicago, you know just how invested the city got as the Blackhawks made their way to a Stanley Cup victory. Of course, it wasn’t just the sports bars and sports shops getting in on the action; larger Chicago institutions got into the spirit too, including The Art Institute.

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AIC’s lions were wearing their Blackhawks helmets for everyone to see, but they also got some of the world’s most famous works of art to show off their team spirit via their social networks — specifically, Facebook. Through the magic of Photoshop, the folks over at AIC were able to give Monet’s haystacks, Edward Hopper’s nighthawks and Grant Wood’s American Gothic farmers a little bit of Blackhawk flair.

The series of posts was clever, entertaining and yielded a lot of engagement for AIC. Here’s what made it so successful.

The paintings used are all pretty iconic.


Even if you didn’t major in art history in college, chances are you’d be able to recognize at least a few of the paintings redesigned with the Blackhawks in mind. Rather than choosing more obscure paintings, the social and creative team focused on iconic works that would instantly resonate with users.

The posts are highly visual and perfectly optimized for Facebook.

Time and time again, we’ve talked about how important it is to have highly visual content for a medium like Facebook, and the Blackhawks paintings are a perfect example of that. They’re bright, hi-res, visually appealing, and easy to understand at a glance. Viewers are able to recognize the work itself and the message of the post immediately making it very effective.

The posts are shareable.


The nature and look of the posts make them inherently shareable, and the fact that they’re being posted on Facebook means that users can easily share the picture and the post without losing the AIC’s credits and the link to the museum’s page itself. A quick glance at the share stats for each post shows that most of the images have been shared hundreds of times, opening up the AIC’s posts to hundreds of people who are potentially unaware of them.

The posts evoke an emotion.

The creative team behind the posts incorporated the Blackhawks gear in fun, funny and clever ways, and the combination of the art and the memorabilia has clearly spurred emotion in the users that see them. Whether it’s laughter or pride, the posts evoke a reaction in the viewer, and spur them into some kind of action, whether it’s a ‘like,’ a comment or a share.

Jello launched their own interesting social campaign a few weeks ago by hacking the #FML hashtag. Here’s what we learned from their experience.