Contrary to popular belief, entertainment in Daytona Beach, FL is a little more highbrow than Beach Blanket Bingo. In fact, every other year for the past three decades, the Florida International Festival (FIF) has come to the area. The classical concerts include performances by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), which calls Daytona its "official American summer home."
But, as FIF concertgoers - much like Frankie and Annette - have grayed, the FIF decided it needed to attract a younger crowd to enjoy the strains of Mozart. So it hired Hayworth Creative Advertising & Public Relations to overcome the hesitancy of younger people to attend classical concerts.
Two Hayworth staffers brainstormed for ways to interest 20- and 30-somethings in classical music. One of them, as it happens, was pregnant at the time.
She had received Baby Mozart videotapes at her baby shower, and knew other people her age might be starting families - and would therefore be interested in the mental and physical health of their children. So the account team researched the "Mozart effect,
a body of studies concluding that classical music enhances brain function in babies.
Hayworth then created the "Mothers-to-B Minor
program. Designed for expectant mothers, the concept packaged Mozart and motherhood. In addition to the FIF, the agency pulled the Family Birth Place at Halifax Medical Center and formula company Enfamil on-board.
To inform expectant mothers of the Mozart effect, Hayworth booked guest lecturer Dr. Gordon Shaw, a professor at the University of California-Irvine, who has conducted studies on the links between listening to Mozart and enhanced brain function. He conducted a seminar as part of Halifax Medical Center's weekly grand rounds for area physicians, was the keynote speaker at a pre-LSO concert talk, and signed copies of his book, Keeping Mozart in Mind, at a local Barnes & Noble.
To further promote the Mothers-to-B Minor program, women who signed up for prenatal or early-baby-care classes at the Halifax Medical Center between May and July received special coupon offers for the concerts, a brochure on the program, and a free CD. Enfamil also included promotional cards in new-mom gift packs, which were handed out post-delivery at the Halifax Medical Center. The agency also delivered 3,000 of the cards to area obstetricians and pediatricians.
The Mothers-to-B Minor performance was a sell-out. All reserved seating for expectant moms was sold to pregnant women. In addition, media that did special features on the program included the Gainesville Sun, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, and local NBC affiliate WESH. The local Fox morning show, Good Day Orlando, included live break-ins from the concert hall and snippets of the music.
"Younger audiences are a bit intimidated by classical music, especially when it comes to paying for a concert and not really knowing what to expect,
says Maria Hayworth, VP and partner at Hayworth Creative, who adds that the FIF expects its new, younger audience members will donate time and funds to local cultural events. "We feel this program started to break down those fears."
The FIF expects to expand its Mothers-to-B Minor program to include interactive music activities for mothers and their young children during 2003. The FIF has retained Hayworth on an ongoing basis, and the agency also works with the FIF's parent organization, Central Florida Cultural Endeavors.
Since the Mothers-to-B Minor program, the agency also sits on the arts and entertainment committee for the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and chairs the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce's special events committee for the first-ever Senior Spring Break in May 2003.
Hayworth plans to make certain that seniors will have plenty of cultural events to pull them off their beach blankets, away from the bingo tables, and toward the kind of music the young people are enjoying these days - Mozart.