Proctors, a landmark theatre in downtown Schenectady, NY turned to Zone 5 for a multimedia advertising and public relations campaign to launch the announcement of a five-year partnership with the Montréal-based circus troupe Cirque Éloize. Cirque Éloize, a leader in contemporary circus arts, will perform a new production at Proctors every August for the next five years, making Proctors “the summer home of Cirque.” Kicking off the engagement is the North American premiere of the show “Cirkopolis.” In addition to performances, Cirque Éloize will host summer camps for children and adults at the Proctors School of the Performing Arts.
To make this announcement a success, there were a number of challenges Zone 5 had to overcome, including promoting a non-traditional show in a region that traditionally only recognizes Broadway and creating enough excitement to fill more than 60,000 seats for a three-week run of performances during the summer months in Schenectady.
To create an announcement as spectacular as the performances themselves and to entice the Broadway crowd, Zone 5 began by ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼using unconventional means to spread the word. Starting with the invitations to the press event, View-Masters with custom reels of a Cirque performance were mailed and hand-delivered to the press and community leaders. Weeks before the announcement, attendees were tweeting about the View-Masters and their excitement about coming to the event.
Capturing the importance of how these breathtaking performances would make a breathtaking impact on the Capital Region and more specifically, Schenectady County, Zone 5 invited international and regional elected officials, travel and tourism leaders and community opinion leaders to attend and endorse the event. Among those supporting and celebrating this announcement were Andre Boisclair, Quebec’s delegate general to New York; Kenneth Adams, president of NYS Empire State Development; and Senator Betty Little, chair of the New York Senate’s Travel and Tourism Committee. Their support helped set the tone for the breadth and impact of this announcement. Regional Assembly members and other elected officials hopped district lines to come to Schenectady to show their support for this regional win.
The announcement took place in the GE Theatre at Proctors and featured the Proctors’ CEO, the “Cirkopolis” artistic director and the director of the Cirque Éloize summer camp program — along with a surprise live “Cirkopolis” performance that thrilled the audience.
With more than 250 media outlets, elected officials, opinion leaders and community members in attendance, the event was a hit! Not only did Zone 5 create the biggest media buzz Proctors had seen for one of their shows in quite some time, they successfully turned what could have been an ordinary show announcement into a special artistic event.