Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil was formed in 1984. In 1980s, circus business were entering a new phase with new players. There were some players like Big Apple Circus, who were willing to reintroduce the circus entertainment to public in a non-traditional way. Some small scaled old-school circuses still existed, however, Cirque du Soleil introduced a “scramble” of traditional circus with the element of surprise and magic, almost creating a new type of entertainment.
In traditional circus, it was important to have a variety of exhibits to present to the audience. Exotic animals, bizarre creatures and other forms of interests were necessary to alert the attention of the potential customers. Up until WWII, many circuses managed to keep themselves alive one way or another through WWI and Great Depression, however, with the changing culture and development of TV technologies along with movies, circus culture lost its market share. With increasing costs and rising sports viewership, circuses also somehow lost their desirability.
Circus target audience was mainly children before Cirque du Soleil. Cirque du Soleil introduced a theme-based show with an intellectual aspect, which included the adults into the target segment. It is a visual show with a ‘magical’ atmosphere. One of the most distinctive quality of Cirque du Soleil is the non-existence of animal shows. Some argue whether it is a circus in that sense, however, Circus historian Fred Pfening says “It’s Soleil”. In a sense, Cirque du Soleil attracts the artistic tastes of the public.
Apart from the other New Circus types, Cirque pursued both artistic tastes and profit. As I mentioned, Cirque targets the adults mostly and keep the pricing intact. They are like an Opera performance, high price and hard-to-find tickets. They generate most of their revenues from the tickets, which tells us that the show itself and the culture revolving around it, the aesthetic beauty, is what Cirque offers as a premium and...