Does This Franken-Ad Have More Emotional Resonance With Audiences Than The Highly Produced One You Are Using?

Last month, Trevor O’Donnell directed his readers to a post by Ruth Hartt discussing how to market the arts in a way that focuses on solving the “problems” people have rather than focusing on selling a performance.

” Because no matter the industry, customers don’t want products, or services, or concert tickets. Their purchases are caused by deeper motivations: they want solutions to their problems. Take, for example, the young businessman who wants to impress his sophisticated date, so he “hires” the orchestra concert to help him. Or the busy working mom who wants to get her elderly mother something other than the usual flowers for her birthday, so she “hires” the orchestra concert as an experience they can share together.”

Hartt cobbles together an ad out of “some stock footage, added some clips from a popular Mommy YouTuber, layered in a few royalty-free tracks” to create an appeal to stay-at-home mothers. Because it is assembled from disparate sources, things don’t mesh exactly right. As she notes, the refreshed woman on a beach at the end should be in a theater in order to make sense.

Her goal was to create a work with an emotional pull in response to the problem of: (her emphasis)

“Help me escape from the grime and chaos of mom life with an evening of dressing up and feeling fancy so that I can feel rejuvenated and be a better mom and wife.”

Check out her ad below, read more of her thoughts, and see symphony ad she is contrasting this to-

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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