George Enescu International Festival & Competition
Partners with OMA Vision to bring the brand into the 21st century and establish a top position at the international level
In 2012, the George Enescu International Festival, Romania’s largest international cultural event, chose OMA Vision to create and orchestrate its branding and communication strategy, as well as the campaign for the 2013 edition, which, at that time, included also the Enescu Competition. OMA Vision’s job was to define the George Enescu Festival brand and consolidate its significance as a cultural brand for Romania; to help increase audiences; and to further its positive image, amplify its visibility and credibility.
Little did we know at that time that we also had to provide a serious public affairs campaign to prevent drastic cuts in the budget by the Government and a change in the international scope and shape of the Festival. But we did it and our campaign succeeded. The Enescu Festival’s international opening and cultural value were safeguarded, the budget cut was lower than the threat, and what at first might have looked like a loss – the postponing of the Enescu Competition for 2014, for lack of money – became a success story, at which we have also brought our contribution.
In 2014, OMA Vision’s mission was to revamp the George Enescu International Competition and transform it from an event appreciated mostly by a specialized public, into one enjoyed also by the public at large, to assert it as an international platform for young aspiring artists worldwide, and to further raising awareness about George Enescu’s cultural legacy.
We created the Festival’s first branding strategy and pioneering communication campaigns to change the perception paradigm for both events. We rejuvenated their image, approach, and audience; we increased their social media and digital engagement; we furthered their positive image, and gave it more depth and warmth.
Going beyond communication, we proposed the new strategic concept of the Enescu Competition which is still in use. Just as we do in many projects, we helped to reinvent the Competition, to make it grow as a standalone cultural event. We proposed the introduction of an opening gala concert, featuring winners of previous editions of the Enescu Competition from all sections. We advised for the enriching of the artistic program with recitals. We ensured the glamour of the finals, by turning them into sold-out concerts with a public. All while preserving the inner structure of the competition, acknowledged by classical music specialists at the international level.
The new messaging matrix was aligned with the Enescian heritage, yet articulated the modern and inspirational value brought by the brand to its targeted audiences worldwide, through the themes it promoted: Creativity is Magic. Magic Exists (2013) and Romania Matters (2014).
We acknowledged the need to evolve with technology and get closer to the general public (particularly the young one) through diversified and adapted communication tools (a new free App released for Android and Apple; rejuvenation of the Festival’s website to accommodate live-streaming of all Festival’s concerts; boosted Facebook page; live HD transmissions of Festival’s concerts in selected movie theatres).
Another way to reach new segments of audiences was through broadening the scope of the Festival's events with hip cross-cultural projects such as Creative Bucharest; Enescu Festival’s Musical Sundays; Books & CDs launches; other artistic happenings. Both events opened as well to establishing novel partnerships and attracting new sponsors, which generated effective cross-promotion and increased awareness.
We built up, secured, and managed notable top-tier media coverage, recognition, and connections, both domestic and international, throughout the Festival & Competition and immediately after.
The communication campaigns have successfully achieved their established objectives. The Enescu Festival is recognized worldwide as the most important international cultural event organized in Romania and a cultural brand for Romania. Today we talk about the prestige and broad significance of the Festival for the world of classical music in general, as it takes the lead in the international classical music cultural debate.
As a direct consequence of the Enescu Competition’ success in 2014, the Romanian Ministry of Culture decided to organize the following editions of the Competition apart from the Enescu Festival, as standalone events in the years between two Festival editions. Both the artists and the audiences benefit from an Enescu event every year. Affiliated with the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC) George Enescu Competition is fully established as an international platform for launching future world-class musicians and for promoting the compositions of the great Romanian composer to the new generation of artists.
OMA communication campaigns breathed new life into the project and brought George Enescu Festival & Competition into the 21st century.
This was the beginning of a successful and inspiring collaboration. In the following years, OMA Vision developed and executed the communication strategy for several editions of the Event (2015, 2017, 2021 Festival; and 2016, 2020 Competition).
OMA Vision received the Gold Award (2013, 2014) and Silver Award (2015, 2016) for Excellence in Communication for the General Public Section and the Silver Award (2013-2016) for Excellence in Culture, Art, Fashion, Sports Section at the Romanian PR Awards Gala.
In such a divergent world, when you find someone with whom you get along even when you debate, find ways to always collaborate from a place of constructive criticism; someone who appreciates you, brings your ideas to perfect fruition, protects your image, and enhance your reputation - you can consider yourself lucky and privileged.
Since 2012, when I met the OMA VISION team, with whom I partnered in hard work and heated arguments ended in reconciliation, they’ve proved through professionalism and commitment that we can make a GRAND FESTIVAL happen - the Enescu Festival, an event that makes not only us but the whole of Romania immensely proud.
Mihai Constantinescu – Director, George Enescu International Festival and Competition