West Australian Ballet World-Premiere of Dracula

Discovering new audiences for a world-first ballet season.

The West Australian Ballet has been in the process of reinventing themselves as a world-class performing troupe, with performers, choreographers and artists from right around the globe. Their emphasis on performing new ballets, to an international standard, was the main motivation behind their 2018 production of Dracula.

This production presented a commercial challenge, despite the high profile of the subject matter that it was based on. A brand new ‘libretto’ (storyline) is always a risk, and the more risqué elements of the production had the potential to turn off the traditional ballet audience. In a major coup, the ballet had the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s most highly awarded and exciting choreographers, Krzysztof Pastor, as well as multi-award-winning costume, set and lighting designers. The stage was set (literally) for a powerful performance.

Finding our audience.

Meerkats worked with the West Australian Ballet to define multiple target audiences and live entertainment personas, to make sure we were creating communications and collateral that resonated with the right people, at the right time. Youth-focused outdoor print and radio told the story of terror and seduction in simple and visually engaging ways, while the more conservative ballet faithful were treated to a display of sumptuous costumes and sets.

Results that count.

  • Dracula helped WAB to their most successful season ever, even within the context of falling live entertainment numbers and during one of the hardest months to sell tickets.
  • It generated the same revenue over only 15 shows, compared to 21 shows for the traditionally successful Christmas Nutcracker performances.
  • The average ticket price for Dracula stayed consistent throughout the sellout period, without having to resort to heavy discounting or package deals.