Vancouver, BC (May 15, 2007) – A long-standing Vancouver institution and internationally-respected venue for top musical talent, the Vancouver Recital Society sought out Subplot Design Inc. to create a powerful campaign and brochure for their 2007-2008 season. Print advertising and the Season Brochure launched in April for the fall season concert kick-off.


When Artistic and Managing Director Leila Getz founded the Vancouver Recital Society in 1980, naysayers told her that classical recitals were dead.  Proving them all wrong, Leila dedicated the company to presenting the world’s most promising up-and-coming classical musicians. Indeed, Cecilia Bartoli, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Stephen Isserlis, Andras Schiff, Pamela Frank and Maxim Vengerov have all made their debuts through the Vancouver Recital Society. In 1992, the Globe and Mail proclaimed that the Vancouver Recital Society “has become a vital part of Vancouver’s cultural life.”  In 1995, Leila Getz was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her contribution to the musical life of Canada.


It was, therefore, no small task to be given the challenge to elevate the Vancouver Recital Society’s exposure in the arts community, drive ticket purchase for the upcoming sseason, and generally help differentiate the VRS from other cultural events in Vancouver which have continued to grow and flourish over the years.


“We needed to take a stand in our market and reinforce our powerful bond with classical music fans in Vancouver and beyond”, says Leila Getz, Artistic Director. “We also had to resist the temptation we have had in past years to try to be something we are not, and try too hard to appeal to a youth demographic or try too hard to be “cool”. In the end, we are a premiere classical music venue, and we needed to celebrate and return to that focus.”


Building on research and strategic work that Subplot led along with Cobbe Strategies, the insight was that, while other classical music venues in Vancouver and beyond may focus on big names, familiar works, and large spectacles, VRS’s unique offering comes from its combination of world-renowned artists in the most intimate venues and settings. Concert venues like Vancouver’s Chan Centre and the Kay Meek Centre epitomize VRS’s settings, and it this intimacy and top talent that combine to create powerful and captivating performances.


“Intimacy was key in bringing this campaign to life”, says Roy White, Subplot Principal and lead designer on the project. “Attendees told us that the power and captivating nature of the performances made them feel like they were the only ones in the room, even in a sold-out house. This became the focus of the creative concept and the driver to bring the VRS back to its strength and point of difference.”


The campaign brings this unique personality to life, highlighting the sense of closeness and intimacy that the audience will find with the performers throughout the season. The audience-member’s silhouette, situated in close proximity to the performers, is literally filled with awe, wonder and similar emotional responses while highlighting the season mantra, “Intimate Performances that will Captivate You”. The depicted performers are seen deep in the practice and emotion of their craft and performance.


The season advertising campaign highlights the three key music formats for the 2007-2008 season: piano, violin and vocalist, and serves as both brand awareness for the VRS as well as to drive subscribers to the website for more information about ticket packages. More tactical “single ticket” ads focus on the individual performers, while staying true to the “intimacy” of the season’s campaign.


The most complete and powerful tool of the season ticket subscription campaign, the season brochure, is mailed to all past season ticket subscribers and single ticket purchasers, along with prospective attendees and has strategic placement with associated corporate sponsor and patron groups. The brochure not only drives the season campaign home, it acts as a complete guide for the season to come, with photos, bios and essential information on individual performances and the variety of ticket packages. The brochure was accompanied by a “sampler CD” of some of the lesser-known performers, to help encourage audiences to seek out new concert experiences and performers.