CASSIES Silver: Guite’s Insta collaboration

A photographer gets calls back from art directors by imitating pictures they posted on social media.

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This article appears in the March 2018 issue of strategy.

+ Silver: Targeting

Like almost every photographer in the advertising industry, Aric Guité promoted himself by creating postcards and sending them to art directors. Direct mail had a response rate of about 5%, and of that, only a handful would hire him.

While every art director is unique, most of them love photography – particularly their own, which they like to post on Instagram. Running from March to June 2016, with a budget of only $3,000, Guité worked with Havas Canada to target a curated list of 26 art directors. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Guité created complementary photos inspired by the photography of those 26 ADs, which he then posted on Instagram, tagging them and suggesting they collaborate on other work.


Two-thirds of the targeted art directors responded to Guité versus 5% from a previous campaign, with 20% of the ADs booking the photog as a result of the campaign (a three-fold increase in paying jobs versus his previous direct mail campaign). His shooting days increased 25% compared to the year prior, and he also upped his daily rate by 50% due to an increase in client demand and larger budget projects. The campaign had a 5:1 ROI.