The National Ballet does a six-step

The National Ballet of Canada thought differently about how to promote its productions in order to get consumers to think differently about ballet. It asked five agencies and students from OCAD's advertising program to each develop a campaign for one of six ballets for the 2008/2009 season. The goal is to attract younger audiences and sell more single tickets rather than subscriptions.

The National Ballet of Canada thought differently about how to promote its productions in order to get consumers to think differently about ballet. It asked five agencies and students from OCAD’s advertising program to each develop a campaign for one of six ballets for the 2008/2009 season. The goal is to attract younger audiences and sell more single tickets rather than subscriptions.

Two campaigns ran in November. A guerrilla effort by Leo Burnett to promote In the Upper Room in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood featured chalk art, ballet shoe hangings, big red doors against buildings and its own ‘upper room,’ with a telescope for people to have a peek. And intheupperroom.ca allowed consumers to buy tickets and learn about the ballet.

To promote The Seagull, OCAD advertising students distributed over 5,000 origami seagulls throughout Toronto. Once unfolded, the paper birds revealed a flyer with instructions to text ‘seagull’ to a long code with their mobile devices for a chance to win tickets to the ballet, as well as directions on how to refold the flyer.

Both campaigns were strongly influenced by elements in the ballets. ‘One of the interesting learnings from the process has been how the different ideas have given us more insight into how we could bring the ballet to different audiences and spark more attention,’ says David Saffer, National Ballet of Canada board member and president of the Saffer Group.

Campaigns from GJP, John St., Smith Roberts and the George Partnership will roll out in March and June for four other ballets, with two campaigns each month.

The creds:

advertiser: The National Ballet of Canada

agency: Leo Burnett

CCO: Judy John

CD: Israel Diaz

copywriter: Elle Bullen

AD: Angie Bird

interactive: Chris Gardiner

account director: Allison Cohen

planner: Steve Meraska

media agency: SMG

media planner: Kym Wyatt

agency: OCAD

OCADvertising student team: Hannah Smit, Sam Archibald, Olivia Chow, Julia Dickinson