Marketing Fails

When Contemporary Opera Goes Viral

As you might have guessed, this is not just another funny Youtube movie poking fun at contemporary culture and social networking. It was created to promote a new opera called Two Boys trailer, by Nico Muhly, which premiers in London on 24th June. Two Boys is a contemporary opera and its storyline sets about lifting the lid on the dangers of living our lives online.

Unfortunately the viral video misses the fact that Two boys is not Twitter or Facebook the opera, it’s a dark, tragic tale. Its dark nature is very evident if you watch the Two Boys trailer which is also being used to promote it. Even though Two Boys centers around the dangers of living our lives online, it’s actually going out of its way to avoid being in anyway crassly digital. You’d then have to ask the question why they went down the viral marketing route.

With nearly one million views on Youtube this viral has succeeded in creating awareness. And as much as we loved this virals take on social networking, it fails to communicate the true essence of the opera it sets out to promote. If anything it actually misrepresents the opera and leaves viewers with the wrong impression. This could result in poor reviews and even a number of disappointed first time opera goers expecting to see something similar to the movie “The Social Network“. In marketing, setting the right expectations is key and this viral misses the mark.

The dangers of social networking sites, such as identity theft, privacy or cyber bullying, are real. This would have been a very rich area for the viral to explore. That being said, if anyone is planning on releasing Facebook or Twitter the opera, then this is your viral and you should get in touch with Don’t Panic, the agency behind this campaign.

Two Boys Website:

What Twitter Thinks

Phoenicia VoiceFest (@voicefest)
Phoenicia, New York
Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

RT @ When Contemporary Opera & Social Networking Collide #viral #marketing #opera #twoboys <fascinating!
Phoenicia VoiceFest

Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson)
Journalist fmr., CNN Intl, CNN USA,
Village Voice | Creative Advisor UN/Rome | Exec Producer
INDEX/Copenhagen | Assoc Artist Atlantic Center | BA MA MFA

A video for @'s #TwoBoys that "misrepresents the opera and leaves...the wrong impression." By @ [I agree]
Porter Anderson

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