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Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mode Project Team Up for Digital Ad Campaign

Anybody who thinks the Chicago Symphony Orchestra experience is meant for somebody else is in for a nice surprise. Mode Project, the Chicago-based design and production studio, is creating an eye-opening series of short videos for a digital ad campaign. The goal: Communicate the universal excitement and accessibility of Symphony Center to new audiences via social media.

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We want to grab people’s attention with strong visuals, minimal dialogue and powerful music. The narrative throughout the series shows how the CSO, which is renowned worldwide for its rich musical tradition, is also a colorful piece of the city’s own unique cultural fabric.
— Colin Carter, Mode Project Principal

The first three videos feature key elements of the series:

The Sound of a Beautiful Night Out evokes drama and joy in the CSO experience. Photos from CSO archives are put into motion with music and punctuated with accolades from prominent publications. The images flow to a crescendo of applause. (See the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5ZudKtIgTE.)

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Visit Symphony Center, Connect with Chicago follows musicians as they go to work, just like other Chicagoans. How do they get to Symphony Center? Practice, of course. But they also get there by foot, bike, train, scooter and other relatable ways. “Our music is for everybody,” the scooter-commuting horn player says in the voiceover. (See the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY_3uvB14G0&t=2s)

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra by the Numbers is a showcase for impressive and fun CSO facts. Among them: founding year (1891), Grammys (62) and musical directors (Riccardo Muti is number 10). The motion graphics piece is playfully assembled with archival images, CSO typography and engaging orchestral-electronica music. (See the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY9HvcP7JZU.


We want to show that the CSO experience is both exciting and approachable. In creating this series of videos, the Mode Project team synched perfectly with our marketing team­­—and the musicians—to tell our stories with just the right tone. Plus, they’ve generated a lot of positive comments and feedback. To me, that’s the most important gauge for success.
— Laura Emerick, CSO Digital Content Editor

The CSO’s new digital ad series builds on an established creative relationship between the CSO and Mode Project. It goes beyond past projects, which involved editing promotional videos, into executing a campaign that draws on Mode Project’s expertise in integrating animation and live action.