Looks Like Zurich Chamber Orchestra Is The Favorite

Monday’s review of recent orchestra television commercials produced some good reader feedback and of the three videos, the final video on the page from Zurich Chamber Orchestra (ZCO) seemed to be the clear favorite. It was my favorite as well; it was an excellent length and very creative, although I’d be curious to know more about the actual cost.

The least favorite seemed to be the first in the list, from the Luxembourg Philharmonie. But for me, it was a very close second to the ZCO contribution. Granted, I wholehearted agree with reader consensus that the video would benefit from doing away with the entire last half (where the ninjas enter, it become a complete waste of time at that point). If you took the first half by itself, it came across as a much stronger piece by directly challenging some of the dominant concerns that we already know keeps newbies and infrequent ticket buyers away.

So from that perspective, it wouldn’t necessarily serve as the centerpiece for an overall campaign but it has far more potential as a targeted effort. Other benefits include low production costs (especially if you ditch the ninjas). Fortunately, I wasn’t alone in sharing some love for this vid as the Boston Symphony twitter account (@BostonSymphony) expressed an interest in it as well. And thanks to their feedback via twitter, it looks like Elaine Fine did some excellent digging into Luxembourg Phil’s video and posted a pair of articles about it on 4/18/2012 and 4/19/2012.

Apparently, the video is the first installment in a series of marketing videos and part of an overall campaign targeted toward younger ticket buyers. A comment from a Philharmonie Luxembourg spokesperson provides more detail:

The general aim of these 4 videos, which you will find on the website www.aventureplus.lu , is to promote a new subscription called Aventure+, which has a quite unique concept. 4 evenings of musical discoveries.

The middle video, from the Czech Philharmonic, tended to garner positive feedback but most folks also thought that it was well made but portrayed in inaccurate image of what ticket buyers will actually experience. That was my take as well which put this entry at the bottom of my list.

In the end, I think one of the reasons the ZCO video made such a strong connection is it made me think of the extraordinary 1960 Looney Tunes cartoon from Warner Bros., High Note (Chuck Jones, director and Milt Franklyn, music). If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a real treat…


About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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