The Challenge Facing Us
Bassoon players dressing up as Elvis is not something you see every day. Hebrides Ensemble toured ‘Dead Elvis’ (1993) by American composer Michael Daugherty, which draws inspiration from the King’s cultural legacy. A rare chance to see the work in the UK, the concerts visited one of Edinburgh’s largest venues – the Assembly Rooms, as well as Perth Concert Hall, Dundee Gardyne Theatre and Sage Gateshead. The thing that we really needed to do here was to attract audiences to two venues new to the Hebrides’ fanbase. We were also careful to make sure that the marketing campaign represented an American/jazz classical concert: not a tribute act.

What We Did
We developed and implemented a multifaceted marketing strategy for the tour. An unusual element was sourcing photography for the campaign from a photographer based in America. Acting as a social media producer, we created a raft of creative online content so there was enough material on hand to sustain a conversation about the tour. And, of course, we also:

  • Commissioned and managed suppliers: designers, a film-maker, media buyer,
    printer and distribution agencies.
  • Venue liaison to maximise promotional opportunities
  • Online advertising management (Twitter/Facebook Ads)
  • Email newsletter management
  • Social media management
  • Photocall/photocall notice
  • Press release
  • Direct mail campaign
  • Concert video trailer
  • Interest group outreach (music groups/departments)
  • Flyer
  • Posters
  • Press adverts: The Journal and The Courier
  • Concert programme.

What We Achieved
Results included a record peak of website unique visits (885 in November). The campaign delivered 1,375 new Twitter followers in 90 days, thanks to a Twitter Ads campaign. There were 430 plays of the video trailer (which was also embedded on stv.tv). Michael Daugherty himself was encouraged to take part in audio interviews and we wrote features that were repurposed into blogs, email newsletters, video trailers, press releases and social posts. We collaborated with the artistic team to produce music and book lists influenced by the concert theme. These were then turned into Spotify playlists and Amazon book lists and shared on a website, social media and in email newsletters.

A photocall featuring a student of the bassoonist generated a picture insert in the news section of The Herald, and other press coverage included eight preview items and five reviews.

The audience was quite literally ‘All Shook Up’: “Never been to a Hebrides concert before – did not know what to expect, but it was fantastic.”

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