TQS is proud to have maintained relationships with a bunch of clients from way back when we first opened. Robert Lentz is one of those clients. Robert is a Franciscan Iconographer. For those of you who don’t know what that means, take a gander at his website (which, coincidentally, we created). The cool thing about this campaign is that we had a rare opportunity to build a brand from the ground up. Robert Lentz is, in many ways, an enigma. His religious history is somewhat tortured, however he has dedicated most of his life to the church and is devoutly religious. He lives as a Franciscan friar, but is himself an inspiration for the worldwide gay community. He is a religious artist under the larger Catholic umbrella, and yet many of the icons he paints contradict the message many people hear from the Church. His brand needed to showcase his message of inclusion. It needed to promote his work and prompt sales without pandering. And it needed to stay true to his personal beliefs, because in this case, we are branding a person. To “brand” Brother Robert Lentz, we needed to start with a website. He is commissioned for work from anywhere in the world, and he also sells reproductions of his icons via an online retail site. But he didn’t have his own presence. And that’s a problem. The website features Robert’s story. Which is fascinating, and a very contemplative read. And because our source material is both gorgeous and inspirational, the website is designed to feature Robert’s work. Particularly his work that surprises people and goes against the grain. Artists are their work, so we created a video series that lets Robert tell his story in his own words. An eloquent and thoughtful speaker, each video highlights an aspect of Robert that helps tell the story of his work and, thus, the story of himself. The videos were turned into blogs, with each video serving as an introduction to something Robert feels passionately about, and a follow-up article that lets his followers dig a little deeper. Finally, we wanted to ensure that Robert developed a strong social media following. Robert’s career has been made from defying tradition. The icons that he paints transcend religious lines, racial lines, and the borders of sexuality, class and gender. His message is one of inclusion, and by promoting that properly, it didn’t take long for his social media presence to explode. Between the video series, the expanded blog articles, and featured quotes from Robert himself, Robert has expanded his reach through social media to nearly 1600 followers and countless more reached through shares. We started his campaign just over a year ago. In that time, Robert Lentz has gone from a virtually unknown artist with a very niche following to a far more prolific artist and leader who is able to share his passion and message with the whole world. It’s been an honor to work with him in sharing that message, and it’s allowed us to stretch ourselves and our work to benefit a wholly unique and worthy client.
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