Marketing and opera


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A presentation made to Opera Europa in Dublin 23rd November 2012 on making the most of the modern media landscape to market opera music and bring experiences to a wider audience.

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  • First off though let's look at how marketing evolved and we got to where we got to.This diagram shows the evolution of media over the last century.As you can see the introduction of new media channels is getting more and more rapid as time progresses
  • This pace is gathering even greater momentum as digital alone fragments and splinters into even more channels and touch-points (so much so that I couldn’t find a more up to date visual!)In the space of only ten years or so it's evolved as much as traditional media did in almost 100
  • Instead of having only three or four channels to choose from - TV, radio, press, outdoor - we now have hundredsThere are so many ways that we can communicate with our audiences and that is really powerfulWe can change our messaging depending upon the format that we deliver it in. Or the time of day we communicate at.Or the level of response we've received from them beforeThere is phenomenal flexibility in all of this fragmentation that allow us to innovate and create fantastic marketing initiatives
  • **Paradox of choice**But that can be overwhelming also. Figuring out which channels and which formats and which moments and which context to establish our messaging in can be mind blowingHow can we be sure that we're not spreading ourselves too thinly? Are we getting the right combination of reach and depth?At the heart of the issue is that we're always chasing our audience - we are keeping up with their adoption of new technologies and new behaviours
  • This is what a modern living room looks like. There's a TV on in the background. And laptops or tablets on our knees at the same time. Probably a mobile phone somewhere nearby. And yes, still a newspaper or magazine on the coffee table. TV isn’t dead. Print isn’t dead. I don’t know why we insist on killing things – it’s neither friendly nor true!We're not consuming these fragmented media in isolation from each other - we're consuming them together. Multitasking!
  • One of the biggest drivers of evolution in digital is that of the mobile phone. They're not just for calling and text messaging anymore. They're everything our computer does in our pocketAnd we're obsessed with checking them - nowadays the average user all check their mobile phone every six minutes!
  • This is what happens in a typical minute online. It is a LOT!It's probably too much…
  • **Or has it?**When TV and radio first came into our homes in early to mid 20th century, they were our central sources of entertainment. And they had authority.In 1938 Orson Welles performed War of the Worlds for the first time and people took to the streets in fright. This was entertainment at such a level that it felt real. People became so enraptured by the experience that they genuinely believed that there was an alien invasion occurring.They trusted what they heard on the radio. And the content creators knew that they had a job to do - to entertain!
  • **That's all very well,you might think, but those days are gone. You've just told us that the media landscape has changed. That the consumer has changed. What gives?No, we can't directly emanate Don Draper anymore, it's more complicated than that (and he's not real)What he and the real ad legends of the same era understood is that you have to stand out. And that still rings absolutely true today.
  • The most successful ads of recent times do exactly what Orson Welles did. What Guinness did. What Don Draper would have done if he was real.They tapped into an insight that triggered an emotional responseThe best ads of today do that too and very, very well - even in a digital worldThey create the water cooler chat that we all want
  • Marketing used to be all about the USP and differentiating yourself from your competitorsBut there's almost universal parity now so how do you stand out?How can you do what the best marketers do? Stand out in this fragmented, complex marketing landscape?
  • **The core principles of marketing have changed**It’s more about a value exchange than before. Our audience expects different things from us these days and we know that they're not sitting around waiting to hear our messagingPlus they’re still screening us out – they have to. According to Forbes, in the 70s we used to be exposed to 500 marketing messages per day. Today's figure has been estimated as being up to 32,000!Underneath all of the confusion about media though, is the same old challenge - how do we get and hold their attention?Well with 31,999 messages competing with ours we can't just shout at themWe need to create reasons for people to spend their time with us. To allow us some of the time in their day.
  • Emotion is STILL our currency.**How do we do this?**However fast the world evolves. However many new technologies we adopt. However distracted we may beWe are STILL slaves to our limbic system. However rational we think we are on the surface, beneath it all our emotions are the things that drive us. They drive action. We need to tap into these emotions better to get people to spend their time with us
  • **Who does that better than anyone?**Entertainers. The best entertainers in the world can make us laugh, cry, shout, squirm, rant, dance, fall in love…In a "post-digital" world, we need to do what we were doing before - we need to entertain our audienceThen, like an entertainer, we can hold their attention and have them give us their time willingly. Even come back for more!
  • Wagner coined a term that pretty much sums up the potential and peculiar glory of opera - Gesamstkunstwerk - the total work of artOpera functions on many levels and through so many expressive elements that when it works it is simply overwhelmingIt is laced with resonating emotion.The human condition always prevails – that’s why we can take operas written 400 years ago and have them relate to us
  • One of the difficulties facing opera is the gulf between it and potential audiencesPerceptions of comprehension, enjoyment, snobbery, age appropriateness and cost are limiting recruitment
  • Digital media can absolutely help to market opera to existing and potential audiencesBut it's not a panaceaRunning PPC and display campaigns, or building a website, or setting up a social media profile will not magically deliver resultsWe must not obsess about digital because it is zeitgeisty. It is just a tool the way other media are
  • We tend to think about our objectives and the technology we can, or want to, useBut what digital marketing has really forced us to do is shift the focus back onto how we can better resonate with our consumer – because digital is designed to result in an action. If nothing happens as a result of our marketing messaging here we can see it in the giant digital tumbleweeds that roll by.
  • We can go around telling people that opera is great and they should give it a whirlOr we can let them experience it and let it speak for itself
  • It doesn't matter if you don't understand the language, if you can't really follow the storyWhat matters is that the overall experience that opera gives you can be overwhelmingPretty Woman “Peed my pants”
  • It doesn’t matter that you don’t understand a word of what’s being sung, or don’t know the story – the emotion of the experience will get you.
  • What digital can do is serve as a permanent conduit between opera and the audienceLong after that initial moment has passed we will remember and relive itDigital gives us the opportunity to do this at any time - much like a DVD box set - but in more consumable piecesBut digitalisn’t going to revolutionise your marketing, or the mental availability for your audience, on its own. It never will. I looked for some of the best digital innovations in opera for a long time. But then I found that the organisations that had used digital media most successfully didn't necessarily "do digital” only
  • Using opera for social good*Mission statement* - Streetwise Opera’s mission is to give homeless and formerly homeless people opportunities to further their personal development through participation in music making of the highest professional quality and to promote more positive attitudes towards homeless people.Digital information distribution, outreach, community development, archiving
  • Breaking down boundaries in perception. Bringing the experience to the masses *Play Ikea ad*Digital used to archive, drive earned media and extended reach, raise awareness
  • Air France - music in the skyImagine allowing opera to soundtrack your journey through a city! Walking through a dark underpass and triggering a brooding, foreboding track. Or sitting in the park on a Sunday afternoon and hearing something like Flower Duet. Or even pooling your resources together and doing it on a Europe-wide scale!
  • All of the initiatives work towards fixing the issue of our leaky bucket> Driving physical availability and conversion
  • What do I think digital can do to market opera?Everything you wantYou are primed to stir emotions and that should be your focusLet digital help you build a bridge across that gulf. Actually just let marketing build that bridge. Get your core strategy right and the media will naturally reveal themselves.
  • Marketing and opera

    1. 1. Digital Marketing & BrandingA presentation to Opera EuropaFriday 23rd November 2012Dena WalkerPlanner and Digital Strategist
    2. 2. Who am I? Dena Walker Planner at Irish International BBDOLecturer at the National College of Ireland
    3. 3. What we’ll cover Fragmentation of the media landscape The effect upon communications Brand challenges in a post-digital world The role of brands as entertainers The opportunities for marketing opera
    4. 4. The media landscape is fragmented, leaving us with a plethora of ways to reach our audience
    5. 5. Navigating our way through it effectively can feel confusing
    6. 6. Image source: Modern living rooms look like this
    7. 7. And a modern commute!
    8. 8. What would Don Draper do?He may well be of a bygone age (and fictional), but heunderstood the value of standing out
    9. 9. The best brands still doAdvertising that entertains resonates more strongly and creates the watercooler discussion that we all crave
    10. 10. There’s parity everywhere, so how dowe differentiate ourselves?
    11. 11. How can we get our audience’sattention?The challenge now is the same as it ever was – we need topersuade people to give us some of their time
    12. 12. When it comes to marketing,brands need to think like entertainers
    13. 13. This is where you already have asignificant advantageOther brands are using YOUR product to sell theirs!
    14. 14. Wagner coined the term, “Gesamstkunstwerk”
    15. 15. Audience Opera GULF
    16. 16. Consumer journey The pitfall we very often fall into is to think of these two elements only Especially within the realms of digital marketing
    17. 17. Consumer journey The focus for Once mental availability is acquired theopera should be final two elements come into focus here, in the first instance
    18. 18. Don’t get too caught up in “digital”
    19. 19. The focusshould be here
    20. 20. It’s about what you do,not just what you sayWords don’t change attitudes or behaviours, but experiences can
    21. 21. Opera has the power to move theuninitiated with relative ease
    22. 22. “Opera functions on somany levels and through somany expressive elementsthat, when it works, it issimply overwhelming” Simon Callow
    23. 23. Digital channels can serve as apermanent conduit between contentand audienceBut we must remember that digital doesnot exist in isolation
    24. 24. Complaints choirs began in 2005 and have occurred in cities around the world Their videos have been viewed over one million times
    25. 25. Streetwise Opera is something else. Itteases, surprises, takes risks, and tackles the unexpected…it lures you where you haven’t been before and sends youhome enriched.Roderic Dunnett, Independent (4 stars)
    26. 26. Glyndbourne has been pioneering bringing performances to a worldwide audience
    27. 27. They’re not very digital! They know the power of the product they have They know the power of experiencing it first-hand They know that digital channels are tools, not solutions
    28. 28. A digital musical experience
    29. 29. They refill the leaky bucket
    30. 30. The role of digital to market opera? Create a permanent conduit to the audience Bring the experience of opera to life without boundaries Work with other activity to increase mental availability Provide “always on” physical availability Increase the rate of conversion