Shen Yun: Expensive Publicity, Poor Attendance
Key words：Shen Yun; Falun Gong; Publicity
Abstract：Shen Yun performance costs much on publicity while the theatre attendance is quite low. It was obvious that Falun Gong was using the arts as a front for their political propaganda despite its high cost.
According to the report of “You've seen the ads for Shen Yun dance. Here's why the Chinese troupe is spending big to get your attention”on “bizjournals.com” on April 3, 2015, Shen Yun performance costs much on publicity while the theatre attendance is quite low. It was obvious that Falun Gong was using the arts as a front for their political propaganda despite its high cost. The following is the excerpt of this report.
What may be Seattle’s most publicized event in the last year, a dance performance called Shen Yun Performing Arts, also is a goad in the side of the Chinese government.
The publicity for the three-day run of the dance show at the 2,900-seat Susan Brotman Auditorium at McCaw Hall in Seattle this weekend, has been lavish and extremely expensive.
The stream of advertisements have included television ads, billboards, bus ads, mailers, online ads, and repeated, and very expensive, front page wrap-arounds advertisements in the Seattle Times.
The Seattle Times declined to say how much the ads cost, although one ad professional who asked to remain unnamed, said such wrap around ads can cost more than $50,000 each.
The colorful ads feature Chinese dancers floating in the air with gauzy garments floating from their limbs, in front of backdrops of classic Chinese architecture.
The ads are peppered with superlative testimonials, such as “Absolutely the No. 1 show in the world,” and “So fabulous, so marvelous and wonderful.”
They're also really expensive, said Dennis Noland, president of ShiftPoint Strategies, a Seattle public relations firm.
“It seems like the scale of promotion is out of line with the number of days the event is running and the size of it all,” he said.
The auditorium itself costs $4,000 per performance to rent or 9 percent of the gross ticket proceeds, whichever is more, according to a rate sheet from McCaw Hall.
Despite the advertising, the event was only partially booked by Friday afternoon, with a look at the Ticketmaster website showing the theater only half filled for Saturday evening. Tickets cost from $70 to $180 each.
But ticket sales aren't really this group's end game.
Behind the scenes the event is a propaganda tool designed by the Falun Dafa spiritual movement, also known as Falun Gong, a mixture of slow-motion exercises and eclectic philosophy drawn from Buddhism, Taoism and Li's ideas attracted millions of Chinese before it was outlawed in July 1999. Practitioners claim Falun Gong improves health and morality and gives experts supernatural powers.
While the Falun Gong connection isn’t made clear in the event advertisements, it can be found by burrowing down into the dance troupe’s website.
So, according to the description above, more and more western people get to recognize the true nature of Shen Yun and Falun Gong and try their best to help other people from the cheating of Falun Gong.