NZSO and The Church go digital for 2014 season

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and its agency The Church continue to embrace digital channels to draw a new audience, with a new app and microsite launched to promote the orchestra’s upcoming concert season.

Sixteen newly-made videos are a feature of the tablet app, the site and the NZSO’s YouTube channel.

The Church managing director Paul Soong says the NZSO has increasingly been using digital publishing for the past year, adding its a powerful medium to bring the different aspects of the 2014 season campaign together.

“As more and more people have tablet devices for iOS and Android and as they get cheaper, it’s the idea of ‘lean forward, lean back’ media. Leaning forward is using a computer and working and multi-tasking. Leaning back is watching TV for an hour, but in this case it’s using your iPad for an hour. People are more relaxed because they’re watching videos and YouTube and playing games and looking at digital publishing.”

The Church also produced the 2014 season brochure, but this hasn’t previously been accompanied by video to promote the concerts, says Soong.

“The idea was the theatre of the mind where music comes to life and that had to be video led.”

Along with the videos, the iPad and Android tablet app and the microsite have concert information.

The app has exclusive content including more than 24 NZSO recordings originally broadcast on Radio New Zealand Concert. So far the app has had 146 downloads, mostly for iPad, in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and North America.

The Church’s brief has been to capture a new audience of 30-50 year olds for the NZSO, outside the traditional demographic of those aged 60-plus, says Soong. However, it needed to balance that objective with “not disenfranchising or disempowering” existing supporters, Soong says.

“With digital publishing the idea is to give more of an experience overall, with the website and embedded YouTube videos, and to try to make it really educational. If you’d been to an event in the past or hadn’t been before you’d see these really cool videos and hopefully you’d buy a ticket.”

NZSO’s head of marketing Thierry Pannetier says the 2014 season campaign is a “different take”. “We hope that new audiences of Kiwis will come and try out this art form,” he says.

Campaign collaborators included Hamish Johnson of Flying Saucer Films, who directed and produced the videos, and still photographer Steven Boniface. 

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