Royal Opera House launches first TV campaign for three years

Royal Opera House 2021 campaign

Covent Garden’s world-famous Royal Opera House (ROH) has unveiled a bold and diverse TV campaign in partnership with Sky Media. 

The adverts mark ROH’s first TV campaign in three years, and will promote the institution’s upcoming Spring/Summer programme, as it reopened its doors on 17 May.

Altair Media handled media planning and buying for the campaign, marking the agency’s first formal foray into the TV advertising market. 

Royal Opera House campaign

Led by Sky Media, the campaign’s creative was developed by Sky’s Commercial Production team and aims to showcase the breadth of content across the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera repertoires this season, while also appealing to viewers who might not traditionally interact with the ROH.

Airing across multiple channels in the Sky Media portfolio including Sky Arts, Channel 5, Sky Atlantic, Sony Movies and more, the twenty-second adverts feature dynamic, fast-paced cuts from some of ROH’s upcoming performances, including 21st-Century Choreographers, La bohème and Sleeping Beauty. 

As part of the partnership, ROH has licensed the Sky Arts brand, which endorses the adverts aired on the channel with a ten-second ‘Sky Arts Presents’ bumper, complete with the classic channel ident to lend the creative a premium sponsorship halo and sense of continuity. 

Sky Arts is now free for everyone to watch on Freeview Channel 11.

Phil Bowman, director at Altair Media, said: “ROH is a British institution, and Altair’s new TV offer is intent on supporting them and others like them who want a different kind of approach to TV advertising.

“Following the stay-at-home situation we’ve found ourselves in since March 2020, more brands have started to see the benefits of the medium, and have included TV in their media planning and buying for the first time. 

“We’re proud to have brought ROH together with Sky Media, where it’ll be able to reach the right kinds of people, and new kinds of people.”

The TV creative takes a modern approach to sonics, uniting strings with pulsating electronics to soundtrack the high-octane scenes on-screen. 

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Narration was provided by renowned voiceover artist and broadcaster Michelle Ackerley, whose credits include Crimewatch Live, The One Show, Fraud Squad and BBC Radio 5Live. 

Her tone is warm and cheerful, and encapsulates perfectly the positive messaging and objectives of the campaign.

Stuart Hall, executive creative director at Sky Media, said: “We’re pleased to see the ROH diving back into the market using the power and scale of TV. 

“Working with ROH was a genuinely collaborative effort, from the script to screen. 

“We came to a solution that both typifies everything that’s great about Royal Ballet and Royal Opera, while using a diverse cast and crew to create a sensory treat that’ll entice fans and casual watchers alike.”

The call to action ‘Watch in the theatre or online’ is delivered towards the end of the ad, pointing viewers to ROH’s website, where they can purchase tickets to physical performances or online streams. 

In another media first, this campaign marks the first time web attribution will be used to track and measure the success of a Sky Presents feature, which will monitor the TV campaign’s immediate effect on these call to actions through website traffic and ticket sales.

Terry McGrath, director of audiences and media at the Royal Opera House, said: “We’re incredibly excited to once again be re-opening our doors after one of the most challenging years in our history. 

“We can’t wait to bring life back to our stages and the joy of live performance back to our audiences, and I am proud that our ongoing partnership with Sky and Altair Media will enable us to present the very best of ballet and opera to new audiences as we look ahead to the new Season.