Founded in 1933, the San Francisco Ballet is America’s oldest professional ballet company. They are not only known for having one of the most diverse repertories in the dance world, but also for their reputation as a company dedicated to sharing the joy of dance and powerful entertainment with audiences in their community and around the globe. To translate their mission and passion, 300FeetOut was chosen to design their 2014 Repertory Season advertising campaign.
300FeetOut’s concept for the campaign, named “Anticipation,” is an invitation into the world of ballet that captures the unbridled suspense of performance and the awe of the SF Ballet. Behind-the-scenes photography gives the viewer an exclusive and intimate look into the life of ballet by humanizing the performers and creating an emotional connection with the audience through the promise of excitement and the feeling of accessibility.
The campaign took flight with a new 40-page brochure designed by 300FeetOut and written in collaboration with the Content Bureau. Its cover is adorned with a dancer in the wings and the season campaign message of “great expectations.” Opening in black and white, the introductory spreads welcome you behind-the-scenes with a dancer “at the threshold” and the audience “on the edge.” The brochure then enters into a world of color, presenting the season’s eight programs — with fold-out spreads that reveal vibrant performance photography — before closing in black and white with a “curtain call” and bow from Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer, Helgi Tomasson.
Outdoor signage including bus sides, street pole banners, and kiosk posters, as well as print and digital advertising then brought the campaign to life. The 2014 Season was promoted with black and white behind-the-scenes photography, while vivid color performance photography was used to promote each individual program. Purple became the overarching campaign color, complimented by a vibrant programmatic color palette, which helped to capture the anticipation of its core audience as well as appealing to a growing younger demographic.
To humanize the performers and further connect the audience with this feeling of accessibility, quotes were collected from the dancers to accompany each of the season’s programs. Perhaps what captured our concept perfectly was the quote placed on the opening spread of the season brochure: “Being offstage I feel like I’m in a black and white reality. As soon as I step onstage I enter a land of color, where I can imagine and transform into a different person.” —Gaetano Amino III, Corps de Ballet