The Philly POPS has been a beloved Philadelphia cultural mainstay for 40 years.
However, like most arts institutions, the POPS felt the pinch of the economy and dwindling patron support throughout the last decade. Under the leadership of Music Director Michael Krajewski, the POPS championed on with fresh programming and maintained its status as one of the best POPS orchestras in the world. In light of these accomplishments, the POPS needed to signal a refined message to the marketplace.
With Eastern Standard taking on a virtual CMO role to completely rethink and manage the marketing and branding approach for this organization, we took a spirited approach to revitalizing the POPS’ brand in every respect: a fresh multimedia campaign for subscriptions and single-ticket concert promotions spanning all media, from TV and radio to digital; a bold new crossover design strategy for promotional materials, brochures, direct mail, and more; and a completely reimagined new responsive website that highlights news, upcoming concerts, and events, and provides a user-friendly method for purchasing tickets or annual subscriptions and making donations.
The combination of this invigorating rebrand and fresh programming caused their average concert sales for the 2014-15 season to jump more than 20 percent over the previous year, both in tickets and dollars and including a sharp increase in season ticket sales — an unheard of accomplishment in the industry in this day and age.
“It's truly exciting to see all of your hard work and expertise coming together to make such a huge difference. I don't think anyone would have predicted the POPS would come back to strongly and o quickly”
The cohesive overarching brand strategy we created has carried over into every single aspect of their ongoing activities, including their Encore! program books, new season brochures and renewal packages, fundraising campaigns, radio and digital advertising, email templates, special event promotions, POPS Ball collateral, and an array of in-concert materials and signage to welcome patrons at every event. Most important, we helped the organization to focus on providing an experience that is not only musically enjoyable and entertaining but also deeply personal and satisfying for attendees.
Taking personalization one step further, we welcomed subscribers with personalized variable data greeting cards signed by POPS President Frank Giordano and placed them at their individual seats in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the orchestra’s home venue. We even designed and produced a custom birthday card that is sent out to Orchestra members, donors, staff, and partners.
“Eastern Standard's work has been transformational for The Philly POPS as a performing arts organization.”
According to Eastern Standard Partner and Brand Strategist Mark Gisi, personal touches like these make all the difference.
“We focus on what’s in it for the concert-goer,” Mark explains. “The POPS offer a great experience, and we help them attend to every detail. It’s not just about great music; it’s about what the patron gets out of it and how they feel when they leave. Every detail matters, and every interaction counts when it comes to our clients’ brands.”
To mark the POPS' 40th Anniversary Season — announced on Valentine's Day 2018 — we created a lovable new take on their look based on the theme "Philly loves the POPS at 40." This new season branding was applied to all related materials, including their website, social media outlets, subscriber brochure, and renewal package, as well as a video we promoted to show our pride in being an ongoing partner and part of the success and future sustainability of the new Philly POPS.