The world’s first drive-thru art exhibit built for the coronavirus

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

This weekend, I was lucky to attend “Gogh by car,” which is the world’s first drive-thru art exhibit. The organizers intended to launch a regular art exhibit this spring, but then the coronavirus hit. Instead of giving up, they came up with something incredibly creative. They let ten cars into the drive-thru art exhibit every hour.

People are feeling stuck in their homes, yet still looking for something safe and clean. Tickets to this event sold out fast, and I jumped at the opportunity.

“We have been working around the clock to come up with innovative approaches that will make the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit safe for our audiences while keeping our artists, contractors, and staff employed at their pre-COVID salaries,” said co-producer Svetlana Dvoretsky.

“We recognize the devastating impact that coronavirus continues to have on the livelihood of artists and the cultural industry; and will continue to do our part to support artists and make art accessible during these extraordinary circumstances. We believe strongly in the resilience of culture in this great city.”

Have a look at one of my videos from the Gogh by Car drive-thru exhibit

Drive-thru art exhibit
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As a consumer, the creativity of this drive-thru art exhibit was shocking. We had an absolute blast. Making use of technology, yet with full respect for the art, they were able to bring Van Gogh’s work to life. The moving windmills, the brush strokes of the sky, and the vibrant colors against a 20-foot screen. I kept thinking of the first time I saw Cirque de Soleil, and this felt equally shockingly good. That’s the type of creativity I love. 

We drove our car into a warehouse in downtown Toronto, one of ten cars. They stopped by our car selling drinks and merchandise, and we purchased Van Gogh masks. It is 2020. The show lasted about 35 minutes, perfectly accompanied by fitting music. The cost was quite high at $95 Canadian ($72 US or 60 Euros) but certainly worth it. I sure hope someone comes up with a Monet version of this show. 

A second video from the Gogh by Car drive-thru art exhibit

Drive-thru art exhibit
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Click on any of these Gogh by Car photos to expand

As we open back up, consumers don't want you to completely change your brand; they just want a safer, cleaner version of the brand they have always loved

As consumers move out of the quarantine, they are looking for alternatives where they can escape crowds into their own bubble of isolation. Consumers also want to eliminate any personal touch with others. Yet, contradicting all the fear inside them, these lonely, isolated consumers crave ideas that will allow them to avoid feeling stuck so they can have fun again. 

The Gogh by Car drive-thru art exhibit nailed all three elements of the sweet spot. We were in our car feeling safe from the usual crowds of an art exhibit and we avoided any direct contact. Yet, we got out for a nice evening to avoid feeling stuck inside the house watching Netflix. I love the creativity the producers of the event used to bring their event to life in 2020. 

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