Everyone wants to make money from Mozart Year
By Christian Fuerst Jan 27, 2006, 12:48 GMT
Mozart cardboard figurines make advertipresent the for \'Mozartkugeln\' a Salzburg chocolate speciality, in a shop of the native city of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Thursday, 26 January 2006. Salzburg is celebrating these days the 250th anniversary of its most famous son, who was born here on 27 January 1756.
Vienna - When Mozart died at the age of 35 he was penniless. Now, on the 250th anniversary of his birth, public relations experts are showing how to make millions with the name of the Austrian musical genius.
The 'Mozart Year 2006' has become a huge marketing event that will presumably bring several hundred millions into the pockets of the Austrian tourism industry and other companies, and not just in Austria.
Leo Bauernberger, head of the regional tourism authority in Salzburg, where the composer was born, expects to see 50 million euros (60 million dollars) made from tourism and merchandising for Salzburg alone. Vienna expects to gain similar sums.
Everyone wants to profit from the worldwide Mozart razzamatazz. Innumerable 'new products' using Mozart's name or portrait are coming onto the market.
T-shirts and caps bearing the name 'Wolfie' and that of his sister, 'Nannerl', are on sale in souvenir shops and in the internet, along with mini-violins, 'Haeferl' (coffee cups), fire lighters, umbrellas, Mozart ashtrays or whole baby sets.
It is not surprising that Austrian companies are proving to be creative. The Mozart chocolates, which have sold in their millions, are on longer the only tasty calorie overload on the market.
The range of sweets goes from 'genuine Salzburg dessert yoghurt' (with nougat and marzipan) to 'Mozart wine from Langenlois' and 'new Mozart slices' from a famous waffles producer, which are also filled with nougat and marzipan and are expected to sell 2.5 million times in 2006 alone.
In the famous Viennese cafes Landtmann and Mozart there are cakes called Mozart-Spitz and Mozart-Torte (advertised as a 'symphony of taste').
Up until now the highpoint of the edible Mozart inventions is the 'Mozart sausage', created in October 2005 by butcher Stefan Fuchs from Groedig in the shape of a violin. A Salzburg brewery produces a Mozart beer that the bon vivant Mozart is supposed to have enjoyed.
Mozart sells well in other countries too. In 2006 the world will be supplied with Mozart Quelle mineral water from Augsburg, and in Japan a rice wine with Mozart's face is on sale.
Mozart has long been one of the most famous brand names in the world. The name of the Salzburg 'compositeur' is apparently better known in China than their own president, and according to Austrian media reports, his fame across the world is even greater than Jesus Christ, Volkswagen or Mercedes Benz.
Advertising experts calculate his potential market value at 4.5 billion dollars. That won't stop the public relations experts in the Alpine state from stepping up their marketing of the composer in his anniversary year.
The tourism authorities of Vienna and Salzburg along with the national body set up a working group for 'Mozart 2006' as early as 2004. Together they have spent 4.5 million euros to promote the anniversary throughout the world.
In 2005 the tourism planners used TV and press adverts from America to Japan to make a journey to Vienna or Salzburg look appealing to Mozart fans. The response has been 'enormous', say the Viennese authorities.
Music stars like Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Ricardo Muti, Anna Netrebko or Thomas Hampton have made themselves available, without payment, but perhaps not entirely selflessly.
The Mozart anniversary will certainly give impetus in the record industry with many new recordings and re-releases. The Mozart adverts are aimed not just at convinced music fans, but also at city visitors who are interested in culture generally, explains Bert Brugger, head of the Salzburg tourism authority.
The city of Mozart expects up to 600,000 extra visitors this year, around 10 per cent more than last year, which might bring the city on the river Salzach closer to being 'choked with tourists', as some commentators have suggested.
The winter sport resorts near Salzburg also want to profit, using offers such as 'Ski Amade' or 'Next to Salzburg'. The capital Vienna is also sure to be a tourist magnet in Mozart year. Some 300,000 extra tourists are expected because of the Mozart anniversary. Both cities are offering Mozart packages, some with concert tickets included.
Austria has invested heavily in this success, with the city of Salzburg and its surrounding region having spent around 85 million euros to tidy things up for the tourists.
Some of that money was spent on massive investment in the new Mozart University. Vienna gave Peter Marboe, the head of the Mozart year celebrations, 20 million euros to spend on cultural events.
The run-down Figaro House with its Mozart Museum have been completely restored. So too has Mozart's statue. Even his grave in the St Marx cemetery has been given a new lick of paint.
(Internet: www.mozart2006.net/deu/index.html, www.mozart2006.net, www.wienmozart2006.at, www.mozartland.com)© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur