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In February 2004, Sonoma State University asked us to promote the Green Music Festival, a month–long event revolving around the University, the Santa Rosa Symphony and performing artists of national stature. Despite heavy advertising and elaborate mailing pieces, advance sales had been disappointing and seldom sold out. The community saw it as a pleasant but rarefied cultural event.

What we did:

We changed “pleasant event” into “exciting event.” We put the individual events in front of the Festival and stressed excitement and importance. A less–elaborate self–mailer, small–space black–and–white newspaper ads, color tabloid pages and radio spots all told the same stories.

Where they are now:

Three days after the first mailing, more than two months before the first event, orders came in for $5,000 worth of tickets. A month later, that $5,000 was $50,000. The advance sales broke all records.

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