Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Original artwork helped a renowned orchestra reach new audiences to fill more seats.

Unless they’re an avid audience member, many people think the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) only plays classical music and appeals to an elderly elite audience. The reality is quite the opposite.  

Tuning up a flat reputation. 

Sure you’ll catch the BPO playing Mozart, but they’re equally (if not more) likely to be playing tribute to greats such as the Grateful Dead, Prince and Aretha Franklin; playing music from movie soundtracks like “Harry Potter” and “Home Alone”; and sharing stages, ball parks, drive-ins, waterfronts and other community venues with local and internationally known artists.

Given the need to drive more young ticket holders to events we know they would enjoy, we decided to jump in and conduct a pro bono campaign that would amplify the BPO brand and attract a more diverse audience to their seats.

Conducting the creative and keeping it on key. 

Those willing to take a closer look (and listen) will discover a BPO that is as diverse as the very musicians who comprise it. So to highlight diversity in venues, genres, performers and audience members, we held our own photoshoot around popular spots in the Buffalo community, capturing both young and seasoned BPO musicians with instruments from all four families: wood, brass, percussion and strings.

After the shoot, we used inspiration from sound-color synesthesia (the phenomenon of seeing sounds in shapes and colors) to enhance the design.

For the messaging, we named the series “Feel the Vibes” and let musicians share what moves them to play and create. Then we paired that up with an interactive element by asking the public to share what moves them to play and create on Instagram, which the BPO featured on their social channels.

Standing-ovation success. 

Through a series of print ads, TV, radio, outdoor and social posts, the BPO invited thousands of people in Western New York to “feel the vibes” with them. The campaign led to an increase in ticket sales and engagement on social media. Plus, our fellow advertisers of Buffalo applauded our work with a Silver award for Public Service Print Advertising at the American Advertising Awards.

We turn brands into friends.

By featuring real artists in exciting Buffalo venues, hip designs and inspiring language, we were able to connect the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to a wider audience and surprise them with all the events offered.

Key Brand as Friend® drivers:

Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.