‘Discover Beethoven’ Marketing Campaign

German National Tourist Board creates podcast series  to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven

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In December 2020, the world will join Germany in celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has produced a series of podcasts to add to the list of activities that form part of its Discover Beethoven campaign. Starting now, a new episode will go online at the campaign’s microsite every week. On 17 December, the day of the official anniversary, a compilation of all six episodes will be made available as an audiobook. The GNTB will also be using adaptations of the German-language format in several other languages in its international marketing.

The six episodes portray the life of the great German composer, humanist and visionary while also highlighting Germany as a travel destination. Starting in Bonn, the city where Beethoven was born, the stories feature audio clips of local people and guide listeners through ‘romantic’ Germany – to places that Beethoven visited or where he spent time, or which have a special connection to the composer.

“In the current situation, when the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the cancellation or postponement of many popular tourism-related events for the Beethoven anniversary, we are making full use of the opportunities presented by digital communication to maintain or even boost interest in Germany as a land of music,” explains Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB.

The GNTB is marketing the occasion in partnership with the Beethoven anniversary organisers, Beethoven Jubiläums Gesellschaft mbH. As part of the campaign, the GNTB is placing relevant content in more than 50 markets around the world. Additional, more in-depth activities are being targeted at specific key markets, such as the US and Japan, as well as Austria, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

A modern interpretation of classical heritage

The GNTB is employing the latest digital communication formats in all of its source markets to position the classical heritage of Beethoven in a contemporary manner. For example, a virtual reality application will offer international visitors at GNTB events the unique experience of joining Beethoven at the piano to play parts of the Ninth Symphony. There is also an augmented reality application that allows people to take ‘live’ photos with Beethoven. A microsite provides information on all aspects of the anniversary and related cultural tourism offerings. The GNTB has also run international social media campaigns and influencer trips. A collaboration with international media partner CNN produced five films in the series Great Big Story that were broadcasted on the global Turner network.