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An Encore 77 Years in the Making

Peabody Opera House

hlk | peabody
peabody opera house

It’s not a venue. It’s an institution.

The Berlin Wall. A cure for polio. Cute cat videos. The Peabody Opera House was around before any of these things. Originally completed in 1934, the Peabody Opera House is a historical landmark in St. Louis.

In addition to performances from legendary acts such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, the Peabody Opera House has also played home to world famous comedians, a Miss Universe Pageant and even a presidential address.

But, in 1990, the Opera House shut its doors and, after decades of neglect, fell into disrepair. That all changed in 2011, when the Peabody Opera House reopened thanks to a multimillion dollar renovation that combined its original art deco aesthetic with state-of-the-art equipment.

Our job was to not only remind the city about this grand reopening, but also to get them excited.

Challenge accepted.

HLK | Peabody

“The Peabody is incredible. We knew we had to create work that paid homage to this beautiful and historic structure, that would help its legend continue for years to come.”

Eric Karlovic | HLK

Eric Karlovic | Partner, HLK

HLK | Peabody
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Some things go back further than your browser history.

With every piece of advertising and PR driving to the website, it had better be easy to use. After all, people don’t go to a venue’s website for fun. They go with a purpose, whether it’s to check the schedule, look at the seating chart or book an important event. Our challenge was to make it as intuitive as possible, while still showcasing the venue’s grandiosity.

Did we succeed? Depends on how you measure success. If you measure it by the amount of world-class shows and musicians we’ve booked, yes, we’ve succeeded. But if you measure it by ticket sales, then yes, we’ve still succeeded. Just ask the thousands upon thousands of St. Louisans who’ve made memories for life here.

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“I was so impressed by HLK's strategic approach and how closely they worked with me as their client, I ended up joining the HLK team a few months later.”

Beth Schwartz | HLK

Beth Schwartz | Digital Strategist, HLK

A blank slate with 70 years of history written on it.

So how do you get people excited about a new venue? Well, it’s easier when that new venue has over 70 years of history. This isn’t a grand opening. It’s an encore.

An encore 77 years in the making.

Using bus shelters, billboards and posters, we nodded to the Peabody Opera House’s storied past to hint at its bright future. We reminded St. Louisans that music isn’t just heard and plays aren’t just watched. They’re experienced. They’re felt.

Because every performance at the Peabody Opera House is a piece of history, every ticket stub becomes another chapter. Every setlist, a story. And the only way to become a part of it, is to go for yourself.

HLK | Peabody

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