How an en pointe digital ad campaign catering to the 'culturally curious' sold more tickets for The Australian Ballet.

in video ad views
listen rate
for Spotify ads
in conversion for new attendees

The Challenge

The Australian Ballet is one of the world’s premier ballet companies and has delivered extraordinary performances for over 50 years. It exists to inspire, delight and challenge audiences through the power and athleticism of its productions. In 2019 as the competition for discretionary spending on entertainment continues to ramp up, reaching and converting new ballet fans has never been more of a challenge.

Against this competitive backdrop, GrowthOps designed a data-driven paid advertising campaign that targeted current Australian Ballet subscribers as well as prospective ballet attendees.

Our job was to promote season ticket packages by:

  • reminding lapsed subscribers to renew their subscription
  • attracting new audiences - a.k.a the ‘culturally curious’ - by challenging the perception that going to the ballet was an expensive undertaking.

The Solution

Reminding lapsed subscribers to renew their subscription

Using data from The Australian Ballet’s CRM, GrowthOps targeted lapsed subscribers and past ticket holders through a combination of paid search, display, and YouTube sequenced ads. Short 20 - 30 second skippable ads were run on Youtube, dramatically promoting the new season’s repertoire and prompting audience goers to purchase tickets before they sold out. Paid search ads offered subscribers the ability to create their own season ticket package, letting them determine the performances they wanted to ‘bundle’, and the dates and times that suited them.

Attracting new audiences

The primary focus of this campaign was to grow audience numbers by targeting the ‘unconvinced’ yet ‘culturally curious’. But we had no data on this amorphous cohort. We had to prospect for them. So, by linking paid ads to more generic search terms and minimising those keywords closely associated with ballet, we were confident we could get a new audience to discover ballet, or at the very least consider it. For these prospects , the ads promoted the bundling of several shows and highlighted the value of purchasing season tickets in advance. We were endorsing ballet as a cost effective cultural entertainment option.

Sequenced YouTube ads ensured that anyone who clicked on an Australian Ballet promotional video was served a subsequent ad, guiding them through a conversion journey by providing more information, and promoting ballet as a ‘value for money’ option through flexible season ticket bundles. Paid ads were activated on specific Spotify playlists focussed on ballet, classical and contemporary music, extending the reach of The Australian Ballet’s brand to this new audience.

Display ads reinforced and highlighted the flexible season ticket bundles, and emphasised the ‘subscribe to save’ offering.

The Outcome

The campaign delivered the outcome for the Australian Ballet by significantly boosting sales of bundled season ticket packages.

The traffic driven through the display ads alone resulted in 276 packages being purchased by new subscribers for the 2019 repertoire. Post campaign analysis showed a significant uplift in video ad views - up a whopping 154% on the previous season.

We delivered more value for the Australian Ballet’s advertising spend by reducing the cost per million impressions by over 40%. Most importantly, the conversion rate among the ‘culturally curious’ cohort - the primary target for this campaign - increased by 41% when compared to the 2018 season.

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