A season of ballet programming is made up of a series of performances, each standing alone as a unique story being told on the stage. How, then, do you create a campaign that communicates these different stories under one cohesive message? That was the obstacle we faced when ideating creative assets for the Texas Ballet Theater’s 2019-2020 season campaign, and here’s how we solved it.
Tell the individual story of each performance, while also fitting the unique designs into one cohesive, identifiable campaign.
Conceptualize ideas that work in photography to incorporate the dancers as crucial campaign assets.
Illustrate the ballet’s marriage of art and athleticism.
Attract a wider audience and convince them to become season subscribers.
Branding an entire season of ballet was a huge puzzle for us because each performance has its own story to tell, full of imagery and icons that are significant within the individual narrative but may not translate into one clear campaign. Plus, it was crucial for the dancers to be featured in each advertisement, so finding a way to marry all of those elements into a unified campaign was crucial.
We needed to create a full season campaign that is cohesive, blends together as a collective vision and message, but that also has enough individuality for each performance that a creative asset could confidently stand on its own. For that to occur, there needed to be enough interest and variety on a performance level as there was on the campaign level, so that the creative assets could be used in advertising on multiple platforms and mixed media.
The Creative Solution
We developed “Alive with Wonder,” a concept featuring the tagline Let Beauty Envelop You. This central message was accomplished by creating illustrations unique to each performance and then having those designs envelop the dancer on the page. Each pattern visually represented individual performances with elements that are important to the story on the stage.
This interaction between dancer and design alluded to the immersive experience of witnessing performances on stage and hammered home the overall campaign tagline – Let Beauty Envelop You.
Once finalized, the campaign imagery was extended into a full graphic system that allowed for both consistency and customization in the promotion of each performance. To accommodate the variety of mediums in our cross-platform media strategy, the flexibility of the system was imperative.
Making Life Better
The common misconception about ballet is that the performances are only suited for fans of high art or those that understand the nuances of performative arts. General audiences sometimes mistakenly assume that a barrier exists between them and enjoying and understanding ballet performances. The reality is this: over the course of a season of ballet programming, a performance will occur that is enjoyable for all types of audiences with different levels of ballet experience. Creating a campaign that cohesively communicated the different themes and tones of each performance and enticed a wider audience to attend was a hugely rewarding endeavor.
An Award-Winning Campaign
Recently, the Texas Ballet Theater’s 2019-2020 season campaign took home some prestigious awards from the Fort Worth ADDYs. All totaled, the 2019-2020 season campaign won 5 Gold Awards and the special Judge’s Award for Best of Print. It is such an honor to be recognized and earn shared success with our clients.
When the Texas Ballet Theater needed a way to reinvigorate their marketing, we created a comprehensive marketing campaign that expanded their ticket sales from a steady group of subscribers into a larger group of new season ticket holders.
Season subscriptions to Texas Ballet Theater, while strong, had stagnated. Subscribers were offered the same options year after year, purchase the entire season or purchase single tickets at a later date. Within performing arts, the prospective ticket buyer ranges from the devoted fan to the person that wouldn’t even consider attending. Marketing resources are precious, and we have to ensure they are being invested where they will yield the highest ROI.
Using data to drive decisions, Schaefer proposed restructuring subscriber packages to give existing patrons more choice and convince new people to become subscribers and single ticket purchasers. Beyond subscriptions, the campaign was designed to have a positive impact on single ticket purchases. Single ticket sales launched in the middle of the campaign on July 1st, and within the first day, more than 3,500 individual tickets were sold.
One of the largest components of our overall campaign was audience segmentation. To accomplish this, we appended audience data from TRG Arts – the Ballet’s consultant.
We divided the Ballet’s existing consumers into four distinct groups of:
1 – previous year subscribers
2 – lapsed subscribers
3 – multi-performance buyers
4 – single ticket buyers
By building package options, we were able to convince larger subsets of people to subscribe to Texas Ballet Theater.
We added historic subscribers and single ticket purchaser data to create persona profiles based on audience demographics and psychographics. We then built lookalike audiences based on the four groups and mapped each of the groups’ behaviors to identify purchasing trends across multiple digital channels. This gave us the insight needed to better understand their consumption habits and likelihood to purchase either a full or partial season or if they were likely to be a single-ticket purchaser.
Once we isolated recurring trends in the audience segments, we hyper-targeted the right ticket package to each group through paid digital media. Further, website retargeting enabled us to identify those that had expressed interest but not yet purchased and then retarget them with the TBT message most likely to yield a purchase.
Clearly brand the full 2019-2020 ballet season, while also promoting individual performances on their own merits.
Earn more new, full-season subscribers.
Define the main buyer personas and outline their purchase-decision journeys to understand their motivations for purchasing a full-season subscription and a single-performance ticket.
Outline a way to recapture people that did not renew their full-season subscriptions from the previous year.
Paid media campaign delivered 1.8 million targeted impressions, and generated more than $40,000 in ticketed revenue in just a few weeks.
After only 2 weeks of a dedicated full-season campaign, subscription sales up by nearly 3% YOY.
New subscribers up by 45% YOY.
Exceeded last year’s launch-day single ticket sales by more than 10%.
Total ticket sales up 18.43% YOY, despite a later season launch than 2018.
During the campaign, overall website sales totaled $199,000.
Telling the story of an elite collegiate baseball program is a large task – and it’s one that we help TCU Baseball accomplish every year. But, like every task that our team tackles, it’s best to take it one small step at a time, day in, and day out.
Since 2014, we’ve worked with the TCU baseball team and Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle to create a video that helps attract the best baseball players from across the nation and shares the team values. We work closely with Coach Schlossnagle to talk about team dynamics and the themes that the team will source for inspiration that year.
This year’s theme was “consistency of purpose” applied throughout all walks of life. Beyond being baseball players, each athlete is also a student, a child, a friend, an ambassador, a budding young professional – the list goes on. For Coach Schlossnagle, if all that the TCU baseball program focuses on is getting better on the field, then they’ve failed these young players as mentors. The video serves as a reminder that the team believes in producing well-rounded young men that are capable of accomplishing goals on the field, in the classroom, and in their personal and professional lives.
The video starts small, focused on feet on the floor – the first step anyone needs to take to accomplish their goals is getting out of bed and setting upon their course. The video gets wider and walks the central characters through multiple scenes of their everyday life – from bedroom, to the gym, walking around campus, getting food at the cafeteria, through practice on the field, and back into bed – a day in the life. The process repeats as the camera expands its view of the subjects, and then focuses on all of the little aspects the characters practice on the field as they build toward the big game, while intercutting more of their personal lives as students and young men.
The narrator speaks to the value of consistency, and honestly depicts that it’s an inglorious, repetitive process that gradually builds a person up to be better than they were yesterday, brick-by-brick.
“The goal isn’t to better than the other guy. The goal is to be better than myself. At least 1% better than I was yesterday. Day, after day, after day. Consistency isn’t exciting – it’s necessary.”
The entire video communicates the small steps that we each take toward bettering ourselves. The editing and musical elements speak to that consistent repetition as the scenes cut in and out and the beat builds – small, consistent stylistic elements that communicate the overall message of the video.
Making Life Better
Motivation isn’t a concept specifically reserved for baseball players and athletes – it’s a fleeting feeling that every single one of us has to find, harness and control to meet our own goals. With this video, we hoped to create a message that extends beyond baseball and motivates each of us to use consistency to accomplish their goals every single day – day in, and day out.
Credits: Concept by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and Scott Porter Produced by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and N8 Visuals Inc. Music: The Seige by Run For Your Life – Licensed through Musicbed Voice Talent: Zach Mayo
When the Fort Worth Zoo enlisted Schaefer Advertising to help drive people to their new African Savanna exhibit, we couldn’t wait to take the bull by the horns and get to work. Our team was able to come up with a rich campaign that encapsulated the spirit of the exciting new exhibit.
The new African Savanna exhibit was built around a central prairie that houses giraffes, springbok, ostriches and many more species all in one exhibit. A winding path gives visitors a 360-degree view of the animals in the prairie and allows people to get closer to the animals than ever before. This creates a truly unique experience for each visitor and ensures that no two visits are alike. The main attractions are the hippo exhibit that includes above-water and underwater viewing, and the giraffe feeding deck. The new Savanna exhibit features shaded viewing spaces and is surrounded by an aviary that houses a variety of bird species.
Generate awareness of the new African Savanna exhibit
Send interested web traffic to the Zoo’s website
Drive more ticket sales centered around new exhibits
The Get Closer campaign was created to highlight the capabilities of the new African Savanna exhibit and emphasize the intimate experience that the space offers visitors. We needed to clearly communicate that the African Savanna allows patrons the opportunity to get closer to the animals than ever before, and illuminate the giraffe feeding platform, and the hippo exhibit.
Before launching the campaign, our team developed a detailed multimedia strategy that would get more people interested in exploring the African Savanna exhibit. To deploy a fully-integrated campaign, we incorporated digital and broadcast ads alongside more traditional out-of-home ads in the form of pole banners, billboards and bus benches that were placed in strategic positions throughout the metroplex.
The campaign featured the two stars of the new exhibit: the underwater hippo viewing area, and the elevated giraffe feeding station. Schaefer developed concepts that communicated the intimacy of the space, while also inviting audiences to look adventure in the eye.
We really enjoy using a medium to its full potential and thinking about new ways to use traditional mediums that command consumer attention. For the Get Closer hippo billboard, we used extensions to maximize the real estate on the board and communicate the capability of the new hippo viewing area. By extending the hippo’s head over the top of the board, we were able to mimic the water line and show viewers the capabilities of the exhibit.
Savanna TV Spot
We chose to use the African Savanna TV spot to expand and support the campaign’s core idea of “getting closer” to the animals and take local families on an authentic African safari right in the heart of Fort Worth. The commercial features children and families getting close enough to the animals to play a small game of “monkey-see, monkey-do,” and interacting with the new exhibit’s animal kingdom. Filming animals is unpredictable, but the “talent” decided that they were ready for their closeups and behaved like seasoned professionals.
The weekend after campaign launch saw a 316% increase in ticket sales compared to the weekend before campaign launch.
The 60 days after campaign launch sold greater than 35,000 more tickets than the same 60-day segment in 2017, for a 14.3% increase in ticket sales.
Standard media display click-thru-rate 216% higher than industry benchmark of .06%.
Rich media display click-thru-rate 46% higher than industry average of 2.25%.
Making Life Better
At Schaefer, we strive to make life better with each project that we take on and in every conversation we have. Going to the Fort Worth Zoo is an incredible experience, and it’s an honor to work with an organization that practices such extensive conservation efforts. Feeding a giraffe or standing eye-to-eye with a hippopotamus is such a joy for people of all ages and working to share that experience with a wider audience was the big cat’s pajamas.
The Story The Zoo can be for grown-ups, too. The Fort Worth Zoo has created an atmosphere for a crowd 21- and-older to get excited about good food and good music meeting around their favorite Zoo animals. Beastro, a live music and food event is an annual fundraiser that allows the Zoo to continue advancing their conservation efforts, while giving their visitors a different taste of the Zoo experience – quite literally.
The night spans to midnight and features a variety of food vendors with booths, open bars throughout and live music entertainment. For 2018, the theme across traditional and non-traditional media platforms features a vibrant jaguar hungry for good food, good music and a good cause. The Work Each year for Beastro, we look to create a festival-like feel tailored toward an audience with eclectic and sophisticated tastes in food and music. The event being a nighttime event, allowed the team to indulge in some color-play, by pairing colors that create a stark contrast and collective vibrancy across all different mediums.
The inspiration for the overall design began to lend itself to a late-night neon lights, Vegas vibe. Through the use of a teal gradient, our team created a look that’s reflective of the trendy, vibrant, yet sophisticated event Beastro is.
As with anything with the Zoo, animal-selection always creates its own arena for brainstorming. Allowing the jaguar to take shape as the face of the event, there’s an inherent mystery to this animal’s demeanor that ultimately complimented the exploratory environment Beastro creates. With a variety of food vendors and music, there’s opportunity for visitors to come-taste-and-go, learning about new flavors and indulging at every turn of a corner.
Across different mediums, Beastro carried a presence across many digital mediums including outdoor billboards, webpage takeovers, Spotify ads, email and display banners. It also made its way directly into area homes through direct mail pieces and print ads. The Results This year, weather turned out to be in our favor. The event carries on [light] rain or shine, but the Texas summer has proven to be quickly approaching. More than 40 food vendors set up shop throughout the park before 7 p.m. and more than 1,900 visitors experience the delectable bites, sips and tunes. Update Weather cooperated and so did the animals. More than 2,200 people indulged in delectable tastes from more than 40 food and beverage vendors, and enjoyed the live music entertainment. 394 people experienced the perks of purchasing VIP Party Animal tickets, and more than 1,800 who purchased general admission tickets lined up this year. This year was a huge success for the Zoo and our team.
Last weekend was the 15th anniversary of Arts Goggle, our Southside arts festival, and with 800+ local and regional artists, 50 bands and a footprint spreading across 18 blocks of the Near Southside it was the largest one yet! When our neighborhood gathers to celebrate creativity and craft, we can’t help but join in on the fun and take a few schots, Schaefer Shots.
This year we activated a storefront-turned-photo booth and offered free polaroid portraits to the patrons of Arts Goggle. We also captured a digital version and have collected a series of Southside portraits on a site for them to download a copy of the images.
We love being a part of the Near Southside in Fort Worth and this was a chance to engage with the community and give out a few smiles.
The Fourth of July is all about tradition. Fireworks, hotdogs, cold beer, and in Texas, live country music and square-dancing. Beyond baseball and apple pie, there’s nothing more traditionally American than a good old fashioned picnic on Independence Day.
For Billy Bob’s annual 4th of July Picnic, we wanted to celebrate America’s birthday by creating a concert poster steeped in Americana convention. So, with an eye on tradition, and an ear on red-dirt country music, we began exploring the aesthetics of classic rock n’ roll posters for inspiration.
When rock n’ roll hit the scene, musicians needed a way to churn up local attendance to their shows without the help of the Internet, social media, or even a mature broadcast medium. Most musicians relied upon an artist to create concert posters that they could then pin up all over town to get eyes on their showtime. Early concert posters were illustrated by hand in two colors or less, and that’s the well from which we drew a lot of our inspiration. A lot of our influence came from the old Hatch Show Print style, which has been around since the late 19th century.
We chose to screen print the poster to honor the tradition of concert posters from the early 20th century, when screen printing was the most efficient and popular way of creating awareness for a touring rock n’ roll band. The poster was printed by Texas Graphic Resources, and done in two simple colors: red and blue. We printed a half-tone photo in blue on top of the solid red, which gives the poster more depth and dimension. Before photoshop, old-school screen printers used to practice this method to combine existing ideas without having to create completely new pieces of art.
We printed the poster on Neenah Environment Desert Storm 80# C – created by Neenah Paper. The heavier paper gives the poster a more substantial feeling, and the desert-craft color makes it look as if it could’ve been pulled from a collector’s library of classic concert posters, sandwiched somewhere between Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan.
The final result is a vibrant poster that features a blue soldier juxtaposed against a red guitar right in the center. The solider holding the guitar acts as the intersection between two American icons: celebrating Independence Day with music and joyous tradition, while also honoring the soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice for our American freedoms.
As explorers, we often look forward to find the newest tools to help us accomplish a creative task. But, sometimes the nature of a project urges us to look back in time to find the right solution. For Billy Bob’s 4th of July Picnic, we journeyed back in time to create a memorable poster that celebrates the occasion with a rockin’ salute to the soldiers, music, and American traditions.
On June 11, TCU Baseball punched a ticket to their 4th consecutive College World Series. To break it down for you, they have finished their season on the field in Omaha in 2014, 2015, 2016 and now 2017. We are beyond proud of our client’s achievements but also honored to work with such and elite program with tremendous character.
Since 2014 (notice a theme?), we have partnered with TCU Baseball and head coach, Jim Schlossnagle, to create a video that embodies the brand of the program and establishes a tone for the upcoming season. We bring to life the vision that the coaching staff establishes each day, on and off the field.
They started the 2017 campaign with a pre-season No. 1 national ranking and Coach Schloss challenged his team to rise to the ranking. This year’s video, Work Wins, illustrates the truth that working hard is how you set yourself up to win games. Each player must physically and objectively work out a win each day. No superstitions. No momentum. Victory is found in the details, the routine, the compounding choices and the mindset.
Our job doesn’t stop with the finished product. Just like anything we create, we fight to make sure it performs. And this video has really caught hold. Over the course of the season (February – May) here’s a few stats:
Beastro has a way of bringing out your wild side. The Fort Worth Zoo continues to give adults (over the age of 21) the chance to experiment with different flavors from various food and beverage booths, and live music entertainment for the 11th year in a row. The Work
Last year, Beastro sold out for the first time ever. The goal this year was to draw newcomers into the excitement the event has to offer, and also encourage those who have attended before to come back!
This year, the event tailored itself to a Rock and Roll theme. The team used a black and white image of a roaring lion as the event icon and paired a tagline of “Sink your teeth into…Beastro!” The intensity between the loud, bold colors of the script and tagline set over the black and white image, lended itself to an intense, high-energy environment.