On September 2014, Cirque Du Soleil planned to greet audiences with a new adventure: KURIOS- Cabinet of Curiosities at the Toronto’s Port Lands. Cirque knew that their English-speaking fans would be excited to purchase tickets – but what about the Chinese population, a huge demographic in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) representing 10.8% of the total population of over 594,750.
Analysis of previous Cirque Du Soleil shows indicated that they were under selling in the ethnic community relative to the size of the ethnic population in the GTA area. Cirque had not marketed to this audience before, and needed help discovering the best ways to reach them.
The role of the campaign was to generate awareness, educate the Chinese consumer that Cirque was not a traditional circus, and that Cirque was much more than an acrobatic show. This was required because many of the world’s great acrobats come from China, so that the Chinese consumer would want to pay a higher-ticket price for Cirque unless it provided more.
Ethnicity Multicultural stepped in to help craft a marketing campaign in both traditional and digital domains. Cirque’s target market consisted of Chinese families living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). They are originally from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which made it necessary to deliver our content in simplified Chinese characters. All marketing efforts drove traffic to the Cirque landing page containing information about KURIOS as well as the Cirque du Soleil brand to further facilitate the ticketing process.
Prime time Chinese TV was the main media recommendation. A Cirque Du Soleil 30 second TV commercial was adapted in both Mandarin and Cantonese to run on ethnic channels and extended to video and Social Media (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc.)
Platforms used in Chinese Social Media included Sina Weibo and WeChat. A sponsored story on Weibo, WeChat and Facebook comprised text, images and a video promoting both Cirque Du Soleil as well as the specific show, Kurios. A 30 second trailer was embedded so that users could watch within the same environment without having to click elsewhere. The clickthrough URL led them directly to Cirque’s ticket purchase page.
On all media, a promotion with “30% off select tickets” was introduced for a one month period to generate quick ticket sales. Even on a very limited budget, results in digital were fast and encouraging with over 386,750 impressions, 6,653 interactions, and 1.72% engagement.
Brand awareness increased driving Chinese traffic to the Cirque’s landing page with online ads. Facebook was a major player. Wherever a user went, the ads were accessible — they ran in newsfeeds, mobile newsfeeds and right-hand sidebars, encouraging interaction on mobile devices as well as desktops.