The past few years, the Metropolitan Opera has faced drastic budget cuts, a shift in its long-term audience and a changing arts landscape. For the Met to thrive, it needs to expand audiences and deputize the next generation of opera lovers–while reaffirming the love of opera for returning audiences.
The Met asked London In New York to help create new CAMPAIGN material, generate attention and find a way to speak to a new generation of opera fans–while reaffirming the love of opera for returning audiences.
This messaging needs to live in a contemporary, multi-screen environment. Not just a niche audience—but passionate art lovers and culture vultures who haven’t had full exposure to the Met.
Direct, authoritative, sophisticated.
A strategic brand positioning platform called
THE VOICE MUST BE HEARD.
THE BIG IDEA
Historically, the Met has relied upon costumes and production photos to tell the story of the season. As ADVISORS TO THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT, our recommendation was to shift the balance away from production to the Met Opera as a cultural umbrella, making the Met Opera the brand authority. Our inspiration for this approach was Motown. In its heyday, there were many different artists recording at Motown: soul, R&B and girl groups. Regardless of the group, all were unified under the Motown label. Motown meant high quality and cutting edge music. Being under that umbrella gave their artists the patina of glamour and aspiration.
That’s the same approach we used for the Met. We stripped back the costumes to reveal the performers as individual artists, all living under the Met umbrella. This approach personalizes the opera experience, allowing audiences to identify with individuals rather than productions. Removing the barrier of a formal production allows audiences to get closer to the true Met experience.
The campaign production utilized print, digital, video and 30-second commercials. An editorial print campaign set the tone and serves as the foundational element for making the Met feel contemporary and seductive. The messaging comes alive in real time throughout the season in a fashion blog, demonstrating the diversity of the Met operagoers in the moment, and through a “zine” with comments about opera by celebrities from film, fashion and culture. These elements—including 30 second commercials- are also used as video content distributed across strategically targeted sites.
a fashion photography project that photographs diverse, stylish people in attendance at Met events.
Designed to break down the barriers to admission and invite everyone to the opera.
HOW WE DO IT
Talking to audiences old or new - where they work, play, and interact with the world- is how we build engagement. We partner with the places and experiences that interest existing and potential opera audiences and use those backdrops to reinforce the Met's message. Our strategic recommendations include music festivals, museums, art fairs and food events as possible collaborations. Each strategic partnership is thoughtfully researched and designed to reach consumers multiple times through their everyday media choices.
Recommended campaign extension: Use THE VOICE MUST BE HEARD as a starting point for the Met to advance public conversations on topics ranging from education to self expression to censorship.