Canvas and Clicks - Ideas for a Connected Cirque du Soleil Experience

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Photo: David Cantu

Every now and again at Localz we talk about brands we’d love to work with. One we came up with and couldn’t resist exploring is Cirque du Soleil. Cirque is one of the world’s leading entertainment brands with millions of people enjoying their amazing shows every year. They have a loyal and highly engaged international fan base, whom return again and again to experience both their touring shows and permanent installations. They’re truly masters of innovation when it comes to creating unique experiences.

Just so we’re clear, we have no existing relationship with Cirque and are in no way endorsed by them, but lets have a look at what would be possible if we did have the pleasure of designing a customer experience for Cirque du Soleil.

<strong>Building the hype</strong>

Before a new show is released into market, the Cirque marketing team swings into action and creates very successful teaser campaigns which drive awareness and pre-sales of tickets. This activity also provides value to the sponsors they secure for each show. Some of the ways Localz could amplify the magic are:

1. Delivery of unique content based on location. For example:

  • At different points throughout every city (a park or major intersection for example), teasers of video content can be accessed on your phone showing one of the show’s artists performing in the same location the customer is standing in.
  • When a customer is next to a digital media display, the content on it can transform to show you a new act.
  • As a bus or tram with a static advertisement for the show drives past you, images and offers can appear on your phone.
  • Surprise and delight by delivering unique content to customers leading up to the show. Set up geo-location zones around common access points such as train stations, car parks and bus routes.

2. Interactive treasure hunt

  • The customer is guided to different areas of the host city and supporting sponsor locations. As they reach these locations, special offers and/or content related to the show is released. This can be varied by the loyalty of the customer - i.e. the more frequent a patron they are of the show, the better the offers get.
  • Special offers may also include value-added incentives to pre-order merchandise to be collected at the venue when they arrive.

Everyone’s a VIP

Nobody likes to queue to get into a venue. With mobile based ticketing that prompts the customer to check in as they reach the venue, they can then simply show their checked in ‘ticket’ on the phone to gate staff and waft in like a VIP.

An interactive venue map flashes up onto their phone as they enter showing them exactly where they are now, where the concession stands are and which one has the shortest queue via a heat map type display.

The customer is guided to the correct merchandise area to collect the goods they’ve pre-ordered. As they approach, the attendant is alerted and can quickly hand over their goods, while greeting the customer by name.

Extra Important People

Cirque’s hospitality is well renowned and their VIP Rouge experience creates a lasting impression on sponsors and their clients. The Cirque team are alerted to the presence of Extra Important People (EIPs!), such as the Chairman of the major sponsor, as they arrive at the venue with a picture and profile popping up onto their tablet as they enter the tent.

Building the anticipation

Patrons are reminded via their phones when it’s time to take their seats and are guided to the correct entry door, as well as their seat, via an accurate, interactive, indoor map. Reminders along the way encourage them to grab a program, which they can pay for simply by tapping their phone. Simplified payments reduce cash handling, staff requirements and queues.

Everyones phone becomes an active countdown to the start of the performance with different content appearing on each person’s phone depending on their seat. Everyone becomes a part of a light show and image that flows around the Big Top as they hold up their phones, making them feel connected to each other and building the excitement. Holding phones over pages of the program brings the content to life with the performers pictured nodding, winking, clapping - footage that you can only see while you’re in the show.

Right before the show begins, patrons are reminded by their phones to power them down as well as advising there is no photography of any kind allowed. As the show starts, all other interactivity stops and all eyes are on the performers.



Photo: Ed Schipul  <a href=""></a>

Maximise the retail opportunity

During the break, concession stands get flooded with people purchasing food, drinks and merchandise. Giving people the option to order and pay via their phone prior to getting to the stand means that orders can be fulfilled en mass and distributed faster, which means less time in queues, more time shopping.

Enabling payment via a Cirque mobile wallet, with credit and/or debit cards pre-loaded, improves the consumer experience due to faster transaction times. Through this process, Cirque is provided with an additional revenue stream.

Extending the experience

The combination of the hard copy program and the app can be used to extend the experience of the show. Different content is displayed via the app depending on whether the phone the app is installed on was at the show. Deep links within the app can be used to promote purchase of tickets to see the show again, other shows, travel packages and unique offers from sponsors when in the sponsor’s venues.

Behind the scenes

A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes of a Cirque show in order to make the front of house performance so seamless. Some areas that Localz can help with include:

  • Real-time analytics, as well as heat maps tracking movement of patrons, provide insights into the efficiency of the venue and allow optimised allocation of team members - i.e. sales people in/out of the merchandise area.
  • Asset tracking - for example props and inventory movement, heat and humidity monitoring in real-time.
  • Loyalty program location analytics and insights without the card infrastructure allow you to manage and engage your biggest fans based on where they are in the real world.

These are just a few of our ideas, so imagine what we could achieve working in collaboration with the Cirque Team. We’re pretty sure they could come up with a very compelling list of concepts to add to ours. Are you a fan of Cirque like we are? What experiences would you like to see brought to life? If you’d like us to create an experience for your enterprise, get in touch.