As a 53-year-old arts organization in a struggling industry, it’s no surprise that Pennsylvania Ballet had years of steadily downturned sales. The Ballet hired Paragraph to help the company to reinvigorate passion for the arts—and of course, tickets. Our work with Pennsylvania Ballet on the 2015/2016 season resulted in the second-highest annual revenue in the organization’s history. With our collaboration, the Ballet has reversed its three-year decline of ticket sales.
The 2016 performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker was the most outstanding production to date, generating more revenue than ever before. Our multi-channel media placement for the show proved to be pivotal in the production’s success. The fall mixed-repertoire program Revolution was also a highlight for the season, reining in 600,000 impressions through digital advertisements and delivering revenue higher than average for a Merriam Theater Production. The Ballet’s performance of Cinderella doubled 2009’s ticket sales for the same production and broke the previous record for most tickets sold in October.
The new year began with a splash as we dove into the world of pirates and pliés for the Ballet’s latest production of Le Corsaire (the pirate). In collaboration with Artistic Director Angel Corella, we positioned the show as an adventure fit for all ages. Upbeat creative work, strategic media planning, and community outreach campaigns all stood out as important factors when marketing the performance.
We partnered with Philadelphia-based video production agency Monogram and the Ballet marketing team to deliver a quality promotional piece for Le Corsaire. The sequence perfectly embodies the anticipation for the performance—the spot follows principal dancer Lillian Di Piazza as she preps for practice, envisioning the beauty and excitement of the characters and story.
Whether it’s edgy and athletic poses, dramatic imagery, or stark, striking photography, each performance’s creative is custom fit to personify the spirit of the show. The 2015/2016 season pleasingly challenged us to execute a range of designs and concepts for a variety of productions. Each show provided a new opportunity to test our hand at exciting themes and daring art while igniting the curiosity of potential patrons. The season was truly a celebration of everything the Ballet has to offer, with exciting performances and unique advertisements that grew the exposure of the company like never before.
After years of flat sales, we took a new approach and created merchandise with a sporty simplicity to better appeal to a broader audience. Soft grays, blacks, and pinks were incorporated to convey the intensity and beauty of ballet. We strategized with the Ballet to better understand the need for new products and what would satisfy the demands of the students and buyers.
Pennsylvania Ballet II
The Jungle Book is a classic tale whose look we refreshed for the contemporary version of this performance, which featured recycled materials and an urban feel. We targeted the campaign towards children and young families, featuring a rich collage of animals, textures, and vibrant colors.
Following the playful look of The Jungle Book, we designed Snow White creative that effortlessly fits into the aesthetic of Pennsylvania Ballet II. We utilized striking color palettes, bold textures, and whimsical illustrations to position these productions as child-friendly performances while still hinting at their deeper storylines.
The School of Pennsylvania Ballet
The prestige of the Ballet’s School is at the forefront of this campaign, as we focused on emphasizing the quality education and professionalism offered by the program. We highlighted the culturally immersive experience students gain in Philadelphia over the course of their stay through a sleek design, stimulating copy, and inspiring photography.