Detroit Symphony OrchestraCreating a digital marketing strategy and brand activation for a signature event


The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is “an inclusive and culturally relevant community where all people can experience their world through music.” The DSO’s NextGen combines a ticket membership program and volunteer leadership committee to attract and engage young professionals and develop its next generation of patrons.


When NextGen hosted its second annual signature event Mysterium, the concept for it was inspired by the late Russian composer Scriabin’s quest to create an experience for the audience that engages all five senses to create a state of enlightenment. The challenge was to promote the event digitally among young and diverse professionals, and engage the audience on-site by incorporating multi-sensory elements while building brand awareness for NextGen.


Blended Collective was tasked to develop creative marketing initiatives, and create an on-site experience to engage a young and diverse audience. For pre-event digital marketing, we partnered with two local and culturally diverse influencers with a combined digital following of 40,000 and offered a ticket giveaway digitally. This content was recommended to be repurposed for e-blast marketing campaigns at the DSO, reaching an audience of 35,000. Blended Collective introduced the event hashtag #DSONextGen to begin building the NextGen brand online. For offline efforts, we developed a three-step Blended Collective social media brand activation, co-branded with Blo Blow Dry Bar in Detroit who hosted a hair and make-up touch up station. With both influencers present at the event, we were able to connect offline and online efforts successfully.


Digital engagement resulted in over 1,000 likes and comments combined, resulting in brand awareness among a young and diverse audience. The on-site brand activation offered interaction between the digital influencers, audience and brands, engaging the sense faculties of sight and touch. Overall, these efforts resulted in increased exposure for the NextGen brand and its membership program to an audience of over 75,000.

“Blended Collective’s brand activation and marketing efforts for this project, helped us to nearly triple our audience size, year over year, for our Gala event Mysterium. On top of that, our audience was younger, more diverse and more engaged than ever before.”

– Peter McCaffrey, Cellist and Artistic Director of Mysterium, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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