Arizona Opera was experiencing a problem that is common to many arts organizations: an aging customer base. The Opera needed to reach younger audiences, partly because of the organization's mission to educate children, but also because of its objective to grow attendance. But opera is often perceived as stuffy and old fashioned – how could Arizona Opera shift people's perceptions and make this art form seem more relevant and fun to kids?
Arizona Opera turned to Vilocity for help. Vilocity developed a CD-ROM "gift-with-purchase" to incent families to attend performances. Kids received the CD-ROM free with ticket purchase. The CD-ROM, named Opera Ha-Ha, was filled with interactive games and print-and-play activities for kids and adults alike. The tone of the disk was tongue-in-cheek and even a little irreverent, in an effort to make opera accessible and even (gasp!) fun.
Approximately 10,000 children redeemed the free CD-ROM offer during performances of Hansel & Gretel in Phoenix and Tucson, and during educational outreach programs throughout the state. Plus, the CD-ROM garnered extensive publicity in local and regional print and broadcast media outlets. Ticket sales are up, and now account for 70% of Arizona Opera's operating budget – far above the national average.