The critically acclaimed opera, Madam Butterfly, was about to be revived for its fifth English National Opera (ENO) West End run.
The ENO were conscious that interest for the revival would likely be low among core ENO-goers. ENO needed to drive early ticket sales and so success would be reliant on attracting new ENO customers
The ENO’s key mandate is to be synonymous with making great opera accessible to broad audiences, with an overarching strategy of “Opening Up Richer Experiences”.
In order to convert new audiences, ENO needed to persuade potential consumers to trust in their programming. ENO wanted to position Madam Butterfly as not only a safe choice that people would enjoy but also as a rich experience, that in a competitive entertainment market, would be the best way for them to spend their time and money.
With a limited budget, ENO needed to ensure it was reaching the right people and cinema represented the perfect opportunity – talking to an engaged, entertainment-loving audience who are happy to pay for quality content. The visually striking production was also the perfect fit for being brought to life on the big screen and showcase the rich experience of the opera to potential new customers.
Cinema’s strength at cost-effectively contributing to awareness, brand difference and consideration were also aligned with the key metrics that ENO need to drive to achieve success.
Art-house cinemas appeal most to an audience who appreciate the arts in its broadest sense - this gave ENO an opportunity to appeal to a wider arts audience who weren’t necessarily ENO customers. -The budget only allowed for the campaign to run in one region and with the opera production staged in London, using cinemas in the capital was the obvious choice.
To maximise campaign efficiency the activity was planned to run exclusively in Picturehouse cinemas – targeting AB cinemagoers - and screentime was upweighted against art-house titles (such as High Rise and Anomalisa) over less suitable titles (such as Alvin and the Chipmunks).
By targeting a premium audience within a core region, this enabled ENO to run the campaign for 13 weeks – much longer than ENO had anticipated they could afford.