Category: Best Digital PR Campaign

Client: VANILLA SKYPE (TOUR) & BRD Group Societe Generale

Year / Domain / Status: 2017 / Other / Winner

Strategy description:

Romanians don’t find going to the theatre as attractive as a decade ago. For the young generation, this is even less popular. The Cultural Consumption Barometer, data shows that 63% of Romanians NEVER goes to the theatre. What is more, 72% of young people, aged 14-29, don’t choose theatre at all during their spare time, as presented in the study done by Pro Youth Association – “The situation of young people in Romania”. In such a context, local theatres have been struggling with building and keeping a strong and constant audience. Nevertheless, Romanian theatre has kept its high quality, creative and original plays are still being made; even national tours. One of them is the national tour for Vanilla Skype – an experimentalist play, with the best-known Romanian actors and written by one of the most appreciated Romanian cultural figures. The very nature of the play and its creative approach are designed for open-minded people and certainly for youngsters. Such a great distribution, formed of actors affiliated to different theatres, could only be gathered before the official start of the theatre season in Romania. This only made the task of bringing people to the theatres even harder, especially during holidays. We focused our research on how to better understand what could determine young people to access cultural content in general and theatre in particular. Thus, according to Media Insight Project, 88% of millennials receive news on their Facebook feed and half of them are daily connected to the news shared on social media, spending an average of 6h/day on their smartphone. They have many applications installed on their phones, especially chat-related ones. Millennials are mostly attracted to novelties as long as they receive information recommended by friends or in their social media newsfeed, from people they follow and admire. At the same time, social networks expose millennials to a higher amount of news than they are actually searching for. So, there are two main challenges in sending information to millennials through social media: 1. The huge quantity of information available on social networks, which creates the need to differentiate. 2. The need for the social media messages to be in their own context so as to be organically picked by the friends millennials follow & trust. Our mission was to promote a play with reduced notoriety among young urban people and offer them the chance to discover what it’s about and eventually come to the theatre in 5 cities in Romania, where Vanilla Skype was on tour. OBJECTIVES: • Generate awareness on the play & tour – at least 50 articles (especially in the online media) & 20 social media posts, respectively at least 70 articles and social media posts; • Over 150,000 views on the videos that promote the play in social media; • Involve at least 10 KOLs; • Ensure at least 100 tickets to each representation via the online mechanism and have the theatre halls occupied at least 80% during the tour.


In the designing of the COMMUNICATION MIX, we chose online as the most relevant channel for our target. We then analyzed the messages the millennials react to and concluded that they needed to be part of a dialogue. Our main challenge was to convince young people, who have a limited attention span, to consider our timeout proposal. WE TRANSFORMED THE USUAL THEATRE EXPERIENCE INTO AN EXCLUSIVE ONE. WE PLACED AN ACCESS LIMIT. We were talking to a target that needs to be challenged in order to react and determine our audience to leave their seats, advance to the stage and become part of the play. SO VANILLA SKYPE BECAME THE FIRST PLAY FOR WHICH THE AUDIENCE NEEDED TO TAKE A CASTING TO BE IN THE THEATRE HALL! This is how the VANILLA SKYPE platform was created – the first theatre play with an audience casting on… SKYPE. Briefly, our culture consumers could participate at the play and enjoy the best seats in the theatre hall if they passed the online casting, on SKYPE, with Marcel Iures, the leading actor. Whilst keeping them in their online comfort zone, with the SKYPE approach, we also offered them a teaser for what they were about to witness in the theatre hall. We thought of the perfect online partner - the casting would be held by Marcel Iures, for a truly memorable experience. He is the only Romanian actor famous for his theatrical performances, but also for his roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Mission Impossible, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Peacemaker or Interview with the Vampire, so he’s relevant & appealing to young audiences. We were ready to invite people to the first play in the world with an audience casting – VANILLA SKYPE. ACT 1 – THE SET-UP We created the Skype account – Vanilla Skype Theatre and invited people to connect with it and pass the audience casting. The campaign was launched with a video teaser of Marcel Iures inviting people to participate in the casting. KOLs, journalists immediately picked up the subject and started a debate around the play and its provocative communication. The writer of the play was invited in TV& radio shows (Radio Guerilla) to explain the creative approach. The coverage was impressive from the earliest stage. ACT 2 – THE CASTING All who entered the video call on Skype were welcomed by Marcel Iures and went through a 3-minute interview with the actor. Separately, on social media, we launched videos with the other cast members who offered tips&tricks on how to impress Marcel Iures and ensure your seat in the theatre. Actors - (Marius Manole , Medeea Marinescu). Bloggers started doing exercises to prepare the casting and invited people to join: Cristian Florea, Claudiu Ciobanu, Cristi China Birta, Edi Enache, Andrei Cismaru Even a radio show member took its live casting with the great Marcel Iures (Europa FM). ACT 3 – THE TOUR We then asked local KOLs to take the casting through a creative press-drop.

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