Using new media to make a bang
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Nonprofits & institutions
Digital & social mediaBranded environments
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) offered wonderful
performances to the community, but was only attracting a narrow
segment of the population to its concerts. When Landor was asked to
participate in an event to welcome the CSO’s new conductor, Louis
Langrée, we knew the orchestra needed to broaden its audience to
attract younger patrons, and that the city needed to secure broad
public support for a tax levy to renovate the orchestra’s historic
Music Hall. We decided to introduce the orchestra to a new audience
by pushing the boundaries of media experience.
Our idea: pairing a jaw-dropping architectural projection on the
façade of Cincinnati’s iconic Music Hall with a free, live symphony
performance on the adjoining park lawn. From its inception, the
concept was full of possibility: sound and light, architecture and
art, tradition and technology.
Landor branded the event LumenoCity, capturing both the literal
and symbolic aspects of the project. Technically speaking, we were
beaming 400,000 lumens from 12 cinema-style projectors onto the
deep red brick of gothic-style Music Hall, a performance center
built in 1878. The name also captured the spirit of the urban
renaissance Cincinnati has experienced in recent years. Renovating
Washington Park, the “front yard” of Music Hall, has been a focal
point of the city’s effort to revitalize its downtown.
On two consecutive nights in August 2013, Langrée led the
orchestra in a 40-minute repertoire as Landor’s custom animation
and three-dimensional graphics interacted with architectural
details and coordinated precisely with the musical performance.
“From the initial brainstorming sessions, through the entire
animation production process, we had to keep in mind that the music
could vary in tempo at the conductor’s whim, and had to account for
that. The attention to detail paid off, and the crowd, fitting into
every possible available spot in the park, fell silent as the music
and visuals began,” said Sean Hafer, Landor’s Cincinnati design
director for LumenoCity.
Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and other classical masterpieces
were coupled with mind-blowing graphics that captured the intent
and emotion of the score. Landor’s media and graphic design teams
produced every aspect of the project in-house and succeeded in
delighting a crowd of over 35,000, most of whom had never before
attended a CSO performance.
Narrating a strong brand story that is consumer-relevant in
today’s environment has become increasingly challenging, but new
media helped the CSO tell its story in multisensory
ways. LumenoCity stayed true to the orchestra’s brand
positioning while creating transformative moments for its