Presentation matters

I’m sure you’ve been in my situation. Your mom has prepared a bunch of exquisite crunchy tater tots, and after eating all of them, she said, “Guess what? Those weren’t tater tots. They were spinach puffs. You just ate that spinach that you didn’t want yesterday.

My mom, my own mother, had tricked me! And she’d done it to make me eat spinach, too.

Do you remember this video: The sexy South Korean Girl Group dancing to the New World Symphony of Dvorak? It’s an advertisement, directed by the Flemish director Raf Reyntjes, for the Belgian classical music festival B-Classic, which will take place at the end of this month. 

I’ve got to admit that when I saw this video I was pretty shocked and it made me remember that slightly awkward childhood feeling all over again, and the immediate question was this:

“Can those tasty, wonderful ‘tater tots’ make me love spinach?”

Can the fact that you like the sexy choreography set to Dvorak make you enjoy the whole symphony? To enjoy classical music in a rawer presentation? To make you see the exciting possibilities of classical music instead of the "stuffy, old, boring music" you thought it was?

What seems obvious for me is that the people who love the first probably won’t enjoy the second, and vice versa. (And, in order to avoid any confusion, I belong to those who prefer the raw version.)

But if we take a closer look at the difference we see that the food/music (spinach/Dvorak) is the same, only presented in a different way, right?


To me, it looks like the problem and solution are in the same place, in this case, the way it’s presented.


I’m really convinced that when people say, “I don’t like classical music,” (or spinach) what they really don’t like is the format, the presentation. We hear classical music in advertisements, films, TV shows, video games, all without even realizing we’re hearing it. I’m really convinced that everyone has enjoyed classical music soundtracks of many, many movies, but don’t think of it as listening to classical music.

To be honest, I think this video is an interesting idea. It’s an excellent ad campaign that is speaking to other audiences and reaches outside its niche market.

This is a campaign, that shocks the classical music world and that invites you (as a professional in the classical music market) to think about how to communicate classical music to all audiences. I’m seeing a video that serves as the stone that breaks a window, opening a discussion about different and new possibilities to communicate music visually

But I don’t think that this video clip is the way to go, as in my opinion it is not capable of explaining to the whole world and to new generations the magnificence and depth of classical music. Or, comparing it again to my first example, it’s an interesting way to bring "spinach tater tots“ to the world, making you think and discuss about spinach, but I don't think it will make people actually love raw spinach. 


 In my opinion, any visual tool should have the goal of enhancing the depth, values, and roots of classical music, to transmit part of the universe of this music world to new legions of listeners.


But what is most important for me in this discussion is the fact that everyone can enjoy classical music! The big challenge will be to find the appropriate presentation for each audience and to communicate classical music through the eyes even before the audience can listen to the music.


I want to share with you an example of classical music in a film that makes me fly ;) 1:25 Enjoy!

Nessun dorma - Mar adentro. 

Oh, by the way, you just listened to 4:20 minutes of classical music ;)