On Christmas Eve, 1944, the audience at the War Memorial Opera House sat in hushed reverie as the house lights dimmed, the music began, and the curtain rose on the American premiere of Nutcracker. An instant sensation, the ballet launched a national holiday tradition. Nearly 70 years later, before the stage lights were set to illuminate the dancers once again, The San Francisco Ballet chose 300FeetOut to reinvent the Nutcracker identity and to design a new advertising campaign for the world-renowned performance.
With Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy’ sounding through our studio in the heat of June — 300FeetOut toiled through Summer to give the Nutcracker a fresh new debut for its Winter season. While preserving the flavor and brand equity of its identity, we simplified the logo mark and whipped the hierarchy into order, making the mark bolder and much quicker read. On the campaign level, we gave the design a fresh new spin with appeal to their audience of all ages. Through our copywriting we dimmed the lights and let the hush fall, music soar, cannons boom and the snow fall. The rollout of the print, digital and outdoor environmental campaign was a success on all levels.
The new campaign was visually striking and captured the audience’s breathless anticipation that gives way to the magical moment when the red curtain slowly rises. Brochures, mailers, digital banner ads, outdoor posters, bus sides and street pole banners were eye-catching and the Opera House seats were once again full.
The lights dim and the magic blooms on a “A uniquely San Francisco Nutcracker.”