The Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras Promo, Case study PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC by Burson-Marsteller

Adsarchive » Promo , Case study » The Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras » PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC

PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC

Pin to Collection
Add a note
Industry Cinemas, Theatres & Concert Halls
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Netherlands
Agency Burson-Marsteller
Director Marjolijn Vencken
Released May 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Media, Arts and Entertainment
Advertiser: THE DUTCH BROADCASTING ORCHESTRAS
Product/Service: ORCHESTRA
Agency: BURSON-MARSTELLER
Managing Director: Kees Boef (Burson-Marsteller)
Managing Director: Anton Kok (Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras)
Manager Business/Communications: Jeroen Sinnige (Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras)
Director: Marjolijn Vencken (Trouble In Paradise)
Associate: Thomas Van Oortmerssen (Burson-Marsteller)
Associate: Michiel Dijkman (Burson-Marsteller)
Associate: Gemma Franke (Burson-Marsteller)
Client Executive: Michelle Fresco (Burson-Marsteller)
Media placement: Flash Mob - BBC, NOS, RTL4, Telegraaf, Parool, Www.nu.nl - 29 May 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Facing significant budget pressure in late 2010, the Dutch Government decided it would eliminate one of Holland’s most cherished musical institutions, the Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras (DBO). The potential cultural impact was huge. Not only would the Netherlands lose 3 world-class orchestras and a choir, but the budget cuts would also lead to hundreds of lost jobs.

If there was any hope of restoring the cuts and saving the Orchestra, there would need to be a PR campaign that ignited the Dutch public’s passion for music by reminding them that the institutions they were about to lose were a vital part of Dutch culture. That led to a headline-grabbing campaign focusing on the plight of the orchestra and the magical impact music has on nearly everyone.

The campaign began with a flash-mob orchestra of more than 150 musicians playing the Mambo from Bernstein's West Side Story in the central hall at The Hague Central Station. Months later, a second even more high profile stunt would thrust the orchestra even further into the spotlight.

More than 300 Musicians and a choir invaded the legendary Dam Square in Amsterdam and erupted into a rendition of 'O Fortuna' from the ‘Carmina Burana’.

National and international broadcast news stations aired reports of the flash mobs, and videos were viewed thousands of times on YouTube. Several daily newspapers gave the story prominence on their front pages. But most importantly, the government joined the chorus of support the orchestra had received and saved more than half the budget.

The Situation

In late 2010, as Europe was gripped by the recession, governments across the region were looking at ways to trim their budgets. 1 victim of these cuts looked to be the popular Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras, a musical institution with a strong identity at the very heart of Dutch musical life. The potential cultural impact was huge. Not only would the Netherlands lose 3 world-class orchestras and a choir, but the budget cuts would also lead to hundreds of lost jobs.

The Goal
To overturn the government decision abolishing the Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras, we designed a headline-grabbing PR campaign focusing on the plight of the orchestra and the magical impact music has on nearly everyone. The campaign demonstrated that the orchestras and choir weren’t just 'classical', but were also fresh, entertaining and truly outstanding institutions. It focused on the beauty of melody, the passion that animates musicians and the accessibility of music which speaks to everyone, not just the elite. It reached out to the government by using 'classical' public affairs tactics in order to convince them that the Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras should stay.

The Strategy
At first, the Orchestras petitioned the government directly using classic public affairs tactics. The team wrote letters to the Dutch Government and organised meetings with the Cabinet and MPs. While the letter-writing campaign got some funding restored, the team decided that a much more public campaign that appealed directly to ordinary Dutch citizens was needed if funding was to be restored. This meant taking the argument for restored funding directly to the Dutch public by forcing the issue into the public square using a guerrilla style approach. This approach would showcase the orchestra as a vibrant and creative cultural institution that is an integral part of Dutch life that is accessible to all of Holland’s citizens.

Execution
The team decided that 'flash mob' performances at high-profile locations would be the way to ignite the Dutch public’s passion for music and would remind them that the institutions they were about to lose were modern, entertaining and a vital part of Dutch culture. During rush hour, the first flash-mob orchestra of more than 150 musicians played the mambo from Bernstein's West Side Story in the central hall at The Hague Central Station. The choir also participated in a second flash mob during a popular primetime talk show. Months later, a third even more high profile stunt would thrust the orchestra even further into the spotlight. On a sunny Sunday, at 3 o’clock, more than 300 Musicians and a choir invaded Dam Square in Amsterdam and erupted into a rendition of 'O Fortuna' from the ‘Carmina Burana’. The crowd went crazy and everyone agreed: please don’t stop the music!

Documented Results
Both flash mobs made the evening headline news on major national and international news channels. Live reports of the flash mobs were aired on national radio, and videos of the flash mobs were viewed thousands of times on YouTube. Daily newspapers published articles about the flash mobs front-page. The number of Broadcasting Orchestras fans on Facebook increased 275%. In addition, the number of followers of the Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras Twitter account increased 300 %. Followers started to use the assigned hashtag, #MCOmoetblijven (DBO must stay), to support the campaign and as a protest against the government's policy. But most importantly, soon after, the government joined the chorus and decided to save more than half the budget to keep the Dutch Broadcasting Orchestras alive and playing.