Kids face choice: broccoli, or opera?

Kids face choice: broccoli, or opera?


norman lebrecht

February 21, 2020

An advertising agency asked itself: what do children hate most?

You got it.


What bugs us is why an opera company in Stockholm splashes its cash on such nonsense.

Client: Folkoperan
Agency: McCann Stockholm
Agency producer: Markus Ahlm
Director: Peter Hansson
Production company: Balthazar Film
Producer: Carl Linder
Music Supervision: Gino Music Supervision
Composer: Max Linder


  • James says:

    It’s extremely cute, and obviously was somewhat successful, but I wish us musicians would stop giving into the idea that opera is boring. It’s a live action film!

    • Christopher Clift says:

      My late wife always maintained that opera was an accident waiting to happen. She spoke from bitter experience from once having a non-doctored plate (ie One that should have been pre-cracked and glued back together by ‘sugar-glue) land on her head from the stage during the Cafe Momus scene in La Boheme. She bled quite profusely from the wound (it happened during the ‘open’ dress rehearsal)

  • CYM says:

    I think the Stockholm opera company missed a beet …

  • Willymh says:

    In what way “nonsense”? I’m working on trying to sell a concert of music by modern Canadian composers and wish to hell I had a) the budget b) the creativity to do this sort of sell. It got asses in the seats because if we depend on our traditional aging and diminishing audiences we may well be waving good bye to many of the institutions that depend on them.

    • Fridolf says:

      No matter the marketing budget, if people don’t want to come, nothing will stop them. And even if you get them in the door, bringing them back is the only way to create a philanthropic relationship, which is necessary for the survival of the performing arts.

      Re: aging audiences. The percentage of the population over the age of 65 is estimated to increase by 30% across this decade. Gray is growth.

      When it comes to attracting younger audiences, market research shows contemporary music is not the way to go. It’s the over-65 crowd that is most likely to attend concerts of new and unfamiliar music, because they have a lifetime of concerts under their belts and they can contextualize contemporary compositions.

      Studies show that the under-40 crowd is willing to pay full price for concert tickets as long as they are certain of getting a high quality experience. As a result, they gravitate to well-known favorites.

  • Brettermeier says:

    “What bugs us is why an opera company in Stockholm splashes its cash on such nonsense.”

    They got your attention, haven’t they?

    • Horace says:

      This website’s editor knows almost as little about marketing as he does about arts journalism. I still remember when he got a book recalled and his published sued for libel because of his shoddy journalism. So his opinion about what an opera company does to attract new audiences really has no value.

  • Jambo says:

    “What bugs us is why an opera company in Stockholm splashes its cash on such nonsense.”

    Because it gets them free advertising on SD?

  • drummerman says:

    I thought it was very clever.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Agreed. And cute. And understanding kids’ diet problems. Chasing children to the opera house with vegetables is, from any point of view, an original and – apparently – effective strategy, and better than using the whip or the modernist instruction ‘it’s good for you especially when you don’t like it’.

      But the repertoire has to be chosen with care, as to avoid bed watering after seeing the head of John the Baptist on a plate or having been subjected to Lulu’s Angstschrei.

  • Bruce says:

    Cute 🙂

    And I wouldn’t call it nonsense or a waste of money. They did use humor, though, which is a tool that doesn’t work on everyone (no tool does).

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    ==Because it gets them free advertising on SD?


  • V.Lind says:

    I love broccoli. I love opera. Can’t I have both?

  • PHF says:

    Horrible marketing, very fit to opera itself.

  • R. Brite says:

    I consider myself very lucky to love both opera and broccoli, but unlucky that I’ve not yet managed to see Turnage’s Coraline.

    • John Borstlap says:

      The diet which goes with Turnage is much worse for your health: fat burgers, burned french fries, and cheap beer.

  • We privatize your value says:

    But which opera (work) were the kids treated to? I guess neither the 1869 nor the 1872 version of Boris Godunov.

    • Lausitzer says:

      Extensive investigative research was able to reveal this fact:

      And a creative marketing stunt to bring in first-timers, with chances of them returning being somewhere above zero. So much better than to do nothing and believe that people will come as a matter of course after their 65th birthday.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    That girl’s look is one of “how dare you”??