Cirque du Soleil launched a new show: Totem, a stunning visual experience inspired by human evolution.

With dozens of shows running concurrently across the globe, the entertainment company needs no introduction to its loyal following of English-speaking fans. However, when Totem arrived in Vancouver, Cirque du Soleil wanted to expand their audience to ensure that everyone got the opportunity to enjoy this spectacular show.

To that end, they challenged Major Tom to help them engage with the region’s Chinese-speaking population (which makes up nearly 20% of residents), conducting a specifically targeted digital marketing campaign to reach a demographic they’d never communicated with before.

Translating Cirque for Chinese-speakers

Authenticity was key when reaching out to Vancouver’s Chinese speakers. Done right, it offered Cirque the potential to engage with a whole new demographic; done wrong, it ran the risk of alienating them entirely.

We took the time to not only understand every inch of Cirque du Soleil’s organization and production, but also the audience they wanted to engage with.

By building a comprehensive picture of exactly who we were targeting, Major Tom was able to put together a strategy that connected them not only with the right information, but presented it in the right way and on the right channels.

Putting strategy into action

Because most of Vancouver’s Chinese audience hails originally from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, we created a Chinese-language content strategy that utilized simplified Chinese characters. We also developed a holistic approach that would utilize the full spectrum of digital marketing channels to connect with the audience.

The starting point of the campaign was a Chinese landing page, launched in conjunction with a contest on Weibo (Chinese Twitter) in order to amplify the message.

Major Tom also identified and engaged local Weibo influencers to promote the contest to their own followers. Those same influencers were also invited to a backstage tour of Totem, and shared their experiences on social media to boost publicity surrounding the show.

Using Facebook ads, we were also able to specifically target 68,000 Chinese-speakers within the Vancouver area. Meanwhile, a media buying campaign ran Chinese ads on desktop, mobile, and tablet, driving traffic to the Chinese landing page. Finally we utilized search marketing to capitalize on users searching for ‘Vancouver events’-related terms.

The aim was to connect the right people, with the right information, on the right platform. We used a strategic approach to identify and engage with Cirque du Soleil’s desired audience rather than attempting to reach them by saturating the market with information.

Enjoying the show

Working in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, Major Tom was able to help the brand soar to new heights and engage with a demographic that they’d never communicated with before.

Just some of the highlights from our activity to date include:

  • For every dollar spent on Facebook, Cirque generated $4.32 in online ticket sales revenue.
  • Digital advertising resulted in a conversion rate of 30% with the return-on-ad-spend  (ROAS) at a whopping 255%.
  • Our Chinese marketing campaign drove over 16,000 visits to Cirque du Soleil’s website, while decreasing bounce rates by 29% and increasing average time on site to 3:30 per visit.