Royal Swedish Opera Promo, Case study WEEKDAY TICKETS by DDB Stockholm

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Industry Cinemas, Theatres & Concert Halls
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Sweden
Agency DDB Stockholm
Art Director Ted Harry Mellström, Tomas Jonsson
Copywriter Tove Eriksen Hillblom
Print Production Manager Anna Hellenberg
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Consumer Engagement
Product/Service: MANON
Date of First Appearance: Nov 11 2010
Art Director: Tomas Jonsson (DDB)
Art Director: Ted Mellström (DDB)
Copywriter: Tove Eriksen Hillblom (DDB)
Design Director: Eva Aggerborg (DDB)
Design Director: Linnea Lofjord (DDB)
Graphic Designer: Leo Drakenberg Renander (DDB)
Graphic Designer: Thomas Miller (DDB)
Final Art: Mathias Mattsson (DDB)
Business Director: Niclas Melin (DDB)
Account Director: Linda Eriksson (DDB)
Account Manager: Tina Munck (DDB)
Planner: Karl Wikström (DDB)
Print Production Manager: Anna Hellenberg (DDB)
Video Producer: Jörgen Gustafsson (The Royal Opera)
Retouch Artist: Christian Björnerhag (DDB)
Media placement: Print Ad - Metro - 2010-11-08
Media placement: T-Shirt - In Store - 2010-11-08
Media placement: Live Performance - In Store - 2010-11-08
Media placement: Music Sampling - In Store - 2010-11-08

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
The Swedish Royal Opera were struggling to attract new and younger visitors. Young people thought of the Opera as stuffy, conservative and not for them. We needed to change the perception of the Opera, as well as sell tickets.
Our insight was that a big reason as to why young people think the Opera is ”not for them” is because it’s a strange environment that can make them feel out of place and insecure – especially concerning dress code. The most common question asked by new visitors is always the same: What should I wear?
We figured that by breaking down the dress code barrier, we would come a long way towards making new visitors feel welcome at the Opera, and more comfortable at the thought of spending an evening there and experiencing opera for themselves.

Creative Execution
We needed to make a stand on the dress code issue. But simply telling people they can come as they are wouldn’t do the trick.
We decided to actually redesign the tickets into t-shirts - the iconic casual wear.
This was done in collaboration with street fashion brand Weekday, and the tickets were sold in their stores. The t-shirt’s motif was inspired by the theme of the ballet Manon: love.

The t-shirt was promoted through print advertising, an in-store event with a teaser performance, and music players where visitors could sample music from the show. The t-shirt was also quickly picked up by leading fashion blogs and newspapers.

The t-shirt worked as an innovative media channel for the Opera, and allowed their tickets to be sold in a new context. By turning the tickets into a medium, and a symbol you could wear, we made the Opera more attractive and accessible.

Results and Effectiveness
The same people, who wouldn’t go to the Opera even if the tickets were free, were now queuing to buy them. All the tickets sold out in 4 hours (with every single buyer scheduling their visit within days). Sweden’s major fashion bloggers and newspapers were suddenly talking about Opera tickets and commenting on the dress code statement.

A new edition t-shirts has recently been released (all sold out) and a third is under way. We see this as a business solution and new media channel that not only changes attitudes but has also exceeded ticket sales beyond expectations.