Back to
27. December 2017

published by
Eduard Böhler

Classic Fuels Digital

or: how, with a limited classic budget, you can spark social media hype and make it into the New York Times.

Through conscious provocation of important foreign markets, the Vienna Tourist Office received an overwhelming response. One example of how digital and classic media go hand-in-hand in today’s world. And of how Schiele is still a great way to unsettle moralists and inspire free spirits.

How naughty is nudity in 2017?

With his explicit and no-holds-barred depiction of nudity, Egon Schiele caused quite a stir in the Vienna of 1900. But is his art still too risqué some 100 years after his death?

Sensational -
even in the London Tube, the posters are still grabbing everybody’s attention.

The Experiment

In the course of promoting the anniversary year “Viennese Modernism 2018”, we took a risk with a media experiment, casting a spotlight on the theme of freedom of art in our seemingly enlightened European society: For our Schiele motifs, we booked advertising space on billboards and in daily newspapers – and promptly received the not wholly unexpected official response:

“These world-famous nudes could only be shown in Great Britain and in Germany if their genitals were covered”

We apologized to viewers for the art they had been prohibited from enjoying, by means of a campaign that stimulated discussion and drew increased attention to Vienna and Viennese Modernism.

What’s with the double standard?

Under #DerKunstihreFreiheit as well as #ToArtItsFreedom – both of which reference the motto of the Wiener Secession – we collected the reactions of people on all social networks. The international press were spurred by the campaign as well as the great response it received to launch their own discussions about the limits of art as well as the morals and values of our society.

Social Media & PR Boost

The rest of the story: The New York Times and the international press picked up the theme just as the Austrian media had done. Discussion in the various social media shows no sign of abating. Up to now, 6 million social media impressions, 800,000 video views and vigorous discussions in online forums have been recorded. A true multiplicator effect for a boost that spans all media. With a clear voice that rings like music in the ears of tourism leaders: Yes, it does still exist, a cosmopolitan city that doesn’t take everything too seriously, namely: Vienna.