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 Post subject: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:25 pm 
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Image <BR>SFB Advertising Postcard<BR>Parrish Maynard and Julia Adam<BR>Photo by Stan Musilek<P><BR>San Francisco Ballet has launched a new, sexy advertising campaign that is bound to attract some attention, positive and negative. Developed by the advertising firm of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), this campaign takes the ballet company into new territory, and hopefully an untapped market of young, well-educated individuals.<P>The focus of the campaign, inspired by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson's words, "Ballet is for everyone -- they just don't know it yet," takes its cue perhaps from a very successful San Francisco Opera campaign that tempted new audiences to Salome and other operas with captions like, "Sex, adultery, betrayal, murder..."<P><BR> Image <BR>SFB Advertising Postcard<BR>Stephen Legate and Lucia Lacarra<BR>Photo by Stan Musilek<P><BR>While ballet must do whatever it can to sell itself, the question must be asked if San Francisco Ballet is overusing sex to sell art. A caption like, "White is for virgins," for Hans van Manen's "Black Cake" seemed too tacky for even some San Franciscans. Let's hope that this ad campaign will draw in new audiences without detracting from the quality of art produced by this ballet company.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:42 pm 
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Well you know what they say- "sex sells". Also, don't those ballerinas feet (sitting on the convertible) seem really big? I guess it's just the foreshortened angle of the photo?


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:49 pm 
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Trina, I think the size of the feet is due to the perspective. Julia has slender but killer feet (viewed from afar with opera glasses of course). Interestingly, it was in "Black Cake" that she almost stole the show with her wittiness and comedic timing (and not because of her semi see-through costume, right Belinda's boyfriend? Image ).


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2001 8:05 pm 
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I think the vamps on the shoes are really long. And I am wondering where "his" other leg is. <P>It will be interesting to see what happens to this ad campaign. It surely won't dissuade the people who love the ballet - and it might bring in new people, who knows?


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2001 9:29 pm 
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Also, look at the heels on Lacarra in "Black Cake." Yes, they actually have to dance on those!<P>Bringing us back to the topic, I just hope SFB won't go so far as to advertise something that isn't in a performance (like using scantically clad dancers in studio shots) or start putting on programs that cater to audiences lured in by the "sex."


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 6:45 am 
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Advertising maxim sometimes quoted: It does not matter whether the publicity is good or bad; as long as you get the publicity. Sometimes, the negative attention attracts huge audiences just out of curiousity. (Look at the Maplethorpe exhibition in Cincinnati some years ago). <P> And, in point of fact, dance IS sexy. It is often layered beneath several other elements, but I do believe that those who attend dance recognize that aspect of it. So perhaps, if new audiences are attracted by the bold and brazen, they will discover the enjoyment of the subtle and sensual.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:17 am 
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There's another van Manen duet where the girl has to dance in high heels. So Lacarra has it easy-peasy.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 8:15 am 
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Wordfox---the publicity may have done wonders for the Mapplethorpe exhibit itself, but sounded the death knell for the National Endowment for the Arts. To this DAY, that exhibit is held over their heads for being "pornography...filth" and is constantly referred to by the "right" as being a shining example of everything wrong with the NEA. So in this case, I think the publicity was bad, at least for the NEA itself, which helped fund the exhibit/tour.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 8:35 am 
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Trina: Agreed. There were other implications from the publicity. Ultimately, I am not necessarily convinced that this was a bad thing. Perhaps this deserves a separate topic.<P>The NEA has a current budget of what? - $100 million? And must make value judgments as to how to use that funding. Based on the population, that would work out to about 33 cents per person in the U.S. And WHATEVER decision is made, someone will be unhappy.<P>From the promotional perspective of the museum in Cincinnati, I think I might prefer having thousands of new visitors, to introduce them to the activities of the museum, rather than the very limited and uncertain amount of support that is possible from NEA - in a current year, or the future. <P>In short, I would rather put my art into the largest possible public forum and let them decide whether or not to fund me.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 9:04 am 
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"White is for virgins" seemed silly, rather than offensive, to me, but otherwise I kinda like this campaign. I especially like the audience they're trying to target--25-35 year old arts goers--because it includes me!! But seriously, I know many of my non-ballet going peers would love "Black Cake" and "Vertiginous Thrill" if they saw them, and perhaps these ads will entice. I wonder, though, whether it's the sex that sells or the contemporary, hip look? I think the contemporaneity is key.<P>Also, on the subject of dancers in sexy see through clothes unrelated to any works they dance: What about ODC/San Francisco's ad campaigns? They seem to work, and the choreography appears uncompromised.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 9:07 am 
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Basheva:<P>I think "his" leg is stretched out behind Julia, along the back of the car: I can just see his ballet-slippered foot poking out on the right!


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 9:31 am 
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Please people - it is NOT axiomatic that those on the right are against the NEA.<P>There were many people of all political persuasions - and even non-political people - offended by Maplethorpe and other things.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 9:52 am 
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English National Opera had a similar campaign a few years ago. One of the ads featured one of the set changing lads stripped to the waist, which many found a bit puzzling.<P>It's interesting to think that the SFB ads would have raised eyebrows 30 years ago and 50 years ago would probably have lost them any NEA grant they might have had. These things are a function of time and Geography. People were arrested in Germany in 1912 for dancing the tango. Today the Mapplethorpe exhibition (and I don't mean the exquisite flower photos) would cause comment on its quality as art from a leading photographic artist, but no attempt at censure in North German art galleries. <P>I'm always a bit surprised that ballet doesn't get more attention for its beautiful performers. I tried to interest my fellow employees in ballet by taking in a very sedate looking RB programme. When they flicked the pages and came to Sylvie in 'Herman Schmerman', where she wears a short skirt and very see-through top, they nearly fell over. Sadly they still didn't go to see dance.<P>I hope the campaign is a success. Neither image is as steamy as many a dance, including the 14 second kiss in 'Manon', the rehearsal I saw this week for the new Ashley Page work, 'This house will burn,' which has some seriously sexy dancing or Paul Taylor's tango piece with suspenders and stockings.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited February 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 10:43 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><I>There were many people of all political persuasions - and even non-political people - offended by Maplethorpe and other things.</I><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I never spoke with anyone who objected to the Mapplethorpe exhibit who wasn't parroting the right-wing party line.<P>Come to think of it, I never spoke with anyone who objected to the exhibit who'd actually <I>seen</I> any of the photos.<P>Imagine that.<BR><P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>This Day in Arts History: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm</A><BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 11:33 am 
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Yes, Belinda, I've often wondered about the ODC/SF ad campaign. For two seasons in a row, in very successful ad campaigns, they had billboards up featuring hot, scantilly-clad bodies in poses and costumes that had nothing to do with any work that I saw them perform. See photo below:<BR> Image <BR>ODC/SF's Tammy Chabowski<BR>Courtesy ODC/SF<BR>Photo by RJ Muna<P><BR>I myself felt this was false advertising as what was used to lure unsuspecting audiences had nothing to do with the performances. I almost felt the same way about Diablo Ballet's billboards, featuring two dancers in black underwear and nylons, leading up to their Yerba Buena show in SF. However, they did use a publicity photo from an actual ballet, Nikolai Kabaniaev's "No Title." The ODC/SF ad was in my opinion blatantly misleading.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited February 12, 2001).]


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