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May 19, 2009

Independent study shows Canadian Opera lovers are
very engaged in digital media

Canadian Opera Company moves promotional campaigns into the digital space
with interactive "Diva for a Day" contest

As part of their ongoing strategy to drive traffic to their website, the Canadian Opera Company is inviting opera lovers to experience the interactive Madama Butterfly Historical Journey for a chance to win their Diva for a Day contest.

“This is the third year that we’ve run the Diva for a Day contest but this is the first time that we’ve including social media tactics and rich media,” says Jeremy Elbourne, Director of Marketing for the COC. “We were looking for something different that would drive people to the site.”

The COC's interactive contest, which closes at midnight on May 25, invites users to take a cyber journey to the new, eye-catching Madama Butterfly Historical Journey. Visitors travel behind-the-scenes through the COC archives and discover the making of this production of Madama Butterfly. Once the journey is complete, contestants must correctly answer five COC-related questions to be randomly selected to win one of 12 diva-worthy prize packs.

The decision to move the contest into the digital space came after results of research done in conjunction with digital agency Delvinia Interactive. A study which looked at the online behaviour of the COC’s target audience showed that the not-for-profit organization’s following are very engaged in digital media. They could be divided into two main demographics. The first is comprised of 45 + people with a lot of disposable income but limited time who use the internet as a functional way to save time. The second group are those who are actively engaged in social media.

“Adding a digital element was important as we realized that fundamentally, people are communicating and finding information in different ways,” says Elbourne. “It was a bit of a struggle to find the balance between what we have traditionally done and what our audience now wants.”

What the COC’s audience wants, according to their research, is to be part of a community and to be engaged by the website. New features on the redesigned coc.ca include interactive quizzes, ecards, and enhanced behind the scenes tours of the Madama Butterfly production.

The contest is also being promoted on a COC fan page on Facebook as well as a Twitter account.

“Opera is a niche market of committed and educated people,” says Elbourne. “And our research has also shown that we have a growing audience of younger opera lovers who are very committed to social media. These social media tools allow us to use word-of-mouth, which has always been very successful for us, in a whole new way.”

During this campaign, the Canadian Opera Company is not measuring actually sales but are concentrating on visitor patterns – where site visitors are coming from, how many page clicks they have and where they are spending the greatest amount of online time.

“We’ll then take those results and measure them against previous visitor patters to determine how we can continue to best serve our audience,” says Elbourne

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