Cirque plans US$1 m advertising push

More than one million dollars will be spent on marketing and advertising the Cirque du Soleil ahead of, and during, its first ever appearance in the Middle East.

Organisers of the performance art show are planning on splashing out in the region of US$1.2 million to promote its Quidam show that starts in Dubai on 4 January next year.

An extensive through-the-line campaign, including TV spots on pan-Arab network MBC, print, radio and outdoor advertising, will start on 1 November, planned by Bates PanGulf which is also adapting the show's existing creative. The Portsmouth Group is managing public relations for the event.

Milan Rokic, marketing director at Cirque du Soleil, said the challenge of launching a show in a new market was creating an understanding of the concept as well as promoting the show itself.

"The big thing to consider when you come to a new market is striking a balance between promoting the Cirque du Soleil and the show itself. In the first instance we will be promoting Cirque in the market to get the brand out there and get people interested in performance artists. We will then follow that up with advertising about the show."

Property giant Nakheel has signed on as the principal sponsor for the show's run, but Rokic said that he was also looking for support sponsors.

The 2500-seat big top will be erected next to the Ibn Battuta shopping centre and more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the show. Corporate packages priced at AED800 (US$218) per person are also being promoted.

"Cirque du Soleil is arriving in the Middle East with an offering that is as appealing to the most discerning executives as it is to families," Rokic said.

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