Britain’s “Economist” has put Hamburg among the world’s ten most liveable cities in its Global Liveability Report 2017 and the city was only German metropolis among a list of 52 top destinations drawn up by the New York Times and ranked tenth overall. The Elbphilharmonie has garnered even more attention for Hamburg. The wave-like building designed by Herzog & de Meuron architects is considered an architectural masterpiece with fantastic acoustics – not least thanks to Japan’s Yasuhisa Toyota, a world-famous acoustician. Audiences are enthusiastic about the new concert hall which has been sold out from the start, said a delighted Christoph Lieben-Seutter, Artistic Director of the Elbphilharmonie.
Over 4.2 million guests since Plaza opened
The Plaza of the Elbphilharmonie is also proving a new tourist magnet since it opened on November 4, 2016. Over 4.2 million visitors have flocked to the area including guests such as Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, heads of state at the G20 summit as well as author Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor. Speaking on the first anniversary of the Plaza’s opening, Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, said: “The Elbphilharmonie has proven to be a building that has won over the hearts of Hamburg’s citizens and their guests in a short space of time. On the first anniversary of the Elbphilharmonie, my thanks go not only to the architects for creating this unique building and which also goes so convincingly with the city that Hamburg can barely imagined without it.”
Opening turned into international media event
The opening on January 11, 2017 also marked the start of concerts and proved an international media event attended by 4,500 guests from Germany and abroad including Chancellor Angela Merkel, Joachim Gauck, former president of Germany and many VIPS from politics and culture. During his welcoming address, Scholz described the concert hall as a “symphony of stone and glass”. The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock and featuring renowned guest soloists performed works by Brahms, Wagner, Rihm and Beethoven. Special outdoor events were held during the opening. The historic Kaispeicher, the glass facade and the Plaza became projection screens for a spectacular light show. The music in the Grand Hall was “translated” in real-time to colours and shapes projected onto the building’s exterior walls.
Impressive media echo
The media response has also been excellent with Spiegel Online hailing the opening as a “grand baptism of fire” while Britain’s The Guardian wrote about “a stunner of a building”. The New York Times hailed the concert hall as a “landmark building” while the Dutch Telegraaf spoke of a “Crown Jewel of Hamburg“. During the opening month of January alone, over 30,000 press reports with 13 million contacts were released. Thus the interest was by no means coincidental.
Hamburg Marketing GmbH managed the campaign in co-operation with the leading Jung von Matt and achtung! agencies, the Ministry of Culture and Media and HamburgMusik gGmbH. “The strategic approach has worked fully. The highlight content, which we developed, caught on successfully with the longest, all-time overture, the step by step, exciting opening campaign for the Elbphilharmonie, spread over 12 months,” said Joachim Kortlepel, Head of Content Projects at Jung von Matt.
Award-winning opening campaign
In June, the campaign won the coveted “Bronze Lion” in the public relations category at the 64th “International Festival of Creativity” in Cannes. The campaign also won a silver GWA Effie Award on November 7th, 2017 in Frankfurt am Main. The media and advertising campaign to launch Hamburg’s landmark Elbphilharmonie picked up (November 16, 2017) no less than four PR Report Awards including “Best Campaign of 2017” in Berlin. This latest win comes after several national awards for the campaign that involved all kinds of communication measures and many beacon projects.
Dr. Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s Senator of Culture, noted: “The prizes show that we seized the one-off opportunity offered by the opening of the Elbphilharmonie professionally and creatively to successfully present Hamburg to the world and to position the new concert hall as a building for everyone.” Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Marketing GmbH, confirmed: “The opening of Elbphilharmonie has changed the perception of the city. On the one hand, we have managed to make Hamburg and its new landmark visible in important media, rankings and travel recommendations and to put it on the world map. But it is just as important that the people of Hamburg have accepted the Elbphilharmonie as their city’s new landmark.”
Awards for Hamburg Marketing GmbH
Hamburg Marketing GmbH also won diverse Econ Awards and a Grand Prix for an outstanding campaign to open the Elbphilharmonie. This has put Hamburg Marketing at the top of the award rankings The company won the “Econ Awardee of the Year 2017“ in Berlin. Econ Publishing and Handelsblatt Group initiated the prize in 2007 to distinguish best corporate communications in the German-language region.