Geneva Opera House
Issue 59 | June 2021
Havas Village Geneva
Creative Director Gabriel Mauron Art Director Laura Cros, Simeon Brandner, Thomas Lafourcade Copywriter Pascal Charvet, Antoine Karpat
Client Geneva Opera House Marketing Director Alain Duchêne
After 140 years, the Geneva Opera House embarked on an ambitious programme of renovations. The re-opening of this world famous institution gave the opera house an opportunity to share its new vision with a much younger audience.
To break the image of the opera house as old-fashioned, many of its old materials were salvaged during the restoration project. With the help of partners Camper (www.camper.com) and Fichtre (a famous Swiss Artist, www.fichtre.ch), these were compounded into a unique ink that provided a direct link from the present to the building’s great past. The ink was then used to create an image on a collection of limited edition Camper sneakers.
Next, 55 major editors and important influencers were mailed hand-painted shoe boxes. Empty. All they had to do was let the opera house know their shoe size to be mailed their own pair of Ink-redible sneakers, which were also an invitation to the re-opening of the opera house. Those who were unable to attend because of Covid still spread the word.
Thus the story of all those who had stepped out on stage was now at the feet of a new generation.
When the shoes were made available to buy, they sold out in 24 hours.
There was an increase of 350% in Instagram mentions.
Go on, admit it. When you think of opera you think of fuddy-duddies in black tie, large ladies trilling to provide a diversion for people with too much money and very little taste. You don’t think of people in sneakers treading the hallowed staircases, do you? The contradiction in expectations is what makes this idea work. The image of the shoe when it was published in every Swiss paper and on dozens of websites says it all.
Opera is about to catch up with the modern world.