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Ballet-porn and rock’n’roll

 

Last week I was reminded of why I love London. This wonderful, cosmopolitan city of cultures and contradictions never allows me to stand still. A couple of highlights from last few days have really stayed with me and they couldn’t have been further apart in character.


I was invited to attend the opening night of the ballet season to watch Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s Mayerling at the Royal Opera House. Now this wasn’t any normal night at the ballet, it was part of a very clever experiential marketing campaign that the Sun newspaper run once a year, in conjunction with the Paul Hamlyn Trust. 2000 readers were offered subsidised tickets ranging from £1 to £30 for the best house seats.

 

This innovative campaign allowed an atypical audience through the doors of the Royal Opera House. It was younger, more eclectic and very, very excitable. There was a palpable buzz in the air with lots of press, film crews and the odd celeb; we saw Lorraine Kelly and Jason Gardiner wandering around being pointed at! It was a great if not bold choice of ballet too; Mayerling told the tragic story of the Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, a gun-wielding womaniser who was a little bit mad. It was so steamy, I think ‘ballet porn’ may have been a more accurate description. Perfect for Sun readers then!!

 

A scene from Mayerling

Prince Rudolf and one of his many mistresses

 

Then, at the other end of the scale, the following night, there was the rock’n’roll launch for the ‘Very Important Plectrum’ auction that I’ve been working on. It was a stellar evening at the Gibson studio with the bands: O Children, Magistrates and Dirty Pretty Things on the line up. Up and coming band O Children have already gained a significant following. Toby the lead singer is a 6ft 8” dude with an obscenely, deep voice and an incredible presence. T4’s Rick Edwards introduced him as a ‘giant’ but he didn’t seem to mind and the band went on to be a huge hit with the audience that night.  Magistrates also rocked out and gave it their all, perhaps fuelled by the unlikely combination of Patron tequila and apple juice cocktails, which to everyone’s surprise were absolutely delicious.

 

O Children

O Children performing tracks from their latest album

Experiential marketing is all about giving your audience a great feeling, something to remember, talk about and consequently associate with your brand. I was on both sides this week as both the marketeer and the person experiencing the marketing. It reminded me that although sometimes it can be difficult to justify these events in terms of spend, the joy of a great experience cuts straight through to the hearts and minds of a customer, making them more inclined to stay with you in the bad times. That and some raunch will usually do the trick!

 

 

 

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