Tuesday, February 9, 2010

expect the worst

So, apparently the Philadelphia Orchestra is kind of fucked. Low ticket sales, ineffective administration, no music director, and little sense of guidance within the orchestra. So what do they do? Possibly the worst marketing campaign ever:

Unexpect Yourself
. Beyond the stupid, stupid grammar of the title, the website itself combines the enthusiasm of a tampon commercial with the immaturity of Dora the Explorer (it's time to get rid of the curly P for Philadelphia). What, exactly, is unexpected about this? The streaming recordings are the most popular moments in three warhorse symphonies: the opening of Beethoven 5, the "Hymn of Freedom" (I know, I know) of Brahms 1, and---get this---what is called Tchaikovsky's Fourth but is actually a recording of Mahler 6. You know they probably spent, like, a million dollars on this too. If you're going to go with such a terrible marketing campaign, at least check to make sure you uploaded the right recordings.

And if you are going to advertise "unexpectedness," try not to feature the most expected parts of a symphony orchestra.


With ticket prices ranging from $10 to $130 and performances 3 or 4 nights a week, you have every reason to try something not only new, but extraordinary. So set aside an evening for anything but the same-old-same-old.

For some reason, advertising your highest price for tickets doesn't seem like the best way to attract customers. But maybe that's the trick: bad marketing is unexpected!

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