Early this month, while vacationing in the US, my family and I watched Absinthe at Caesars Palace Hotel and O at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. It does seem like an odd choice of combination of shows but it was interesting for the comparisons and contrast of themes we experienced. We watched Absinthe because it was recommended by people online and we watched O because my wife Chiqui and I wanted our children to see what we consider the best Cirque du Soleil show, having watched it the first time some ten years ago.
O is a production of Cirque du Soleil, the group of street performers who banded together with the vision of seeing the world and became Canada’s best known talent group.
A look into their business model would show how Cirque differentiated and created a new market space. Before Cirque du Soleil, circuses used animals like elephants, tigers and monkeys to attract audiences. They ignored the cry of animal lovers whom they branded as whiners and troublemakers for holding placards and mini rallies, instead of trying to remedy their (non-customer) pain points.
Without animals, a significant sixty percent of total cost of a circus can be removed because there is no need for tons of food, insurance, trainers and real estate space for instance. Cirque du Soleil took advantage of this by creating a new idea — a circus with acrobats but without animals, where the novelty of having animals in the show was replaced by lights, sound, script and choreography.
“O” was a special show of Cirque du Soleil as it created a production number one notch higher than their usual shows via creating a pool at the center of the stage of Bellagio Hotel. This meant that the competency needed was not just of acrobats but acrobatic swimmers. The price charged by Cirque du Soleil is many times what regular circuses would charge and it is almost always full house. Read more