Heidi Klum, renowned for her spectacular Halloween costumes, wanted to push the creative limits of costume making for her 2023 ensemble. The talented costume designers and makeup artists at Cirque du Soleil embarked on a journey to create a living costume resembling a peacock incorporating an assembly of acrobats.
Enlisting renowned designer Marie Chantale Vaillancourt, who created costumes for Cirque du Soleil productions KÀ and KOOZA, to work alongside Cirque du Soleil’s Creative Guide, Michel Laprise, and Marie-Helene Delage, Lead Creative Director for this once-in-a-lifetime partnership, was the key to success.
They led a team of 29 artisans from the Cirque du Soleil Atelier, bringing on board countless internal experts from different departments such as content production, social media and digital to plan and coordinate in the shadows for Cirque du Soleil’s own social media take over. Joining forces with Oscar-winning makeup artist Bill Corso, a long-time associate of Heidi’s Halloween costumes, creating prosthetics for her looks amongst other things, Mr. Corso created the one-of-a-kind facial prosthetic to giving the lifelike peacock look.
Drawing inspiration from Heidi's ingenious concept, the Cirque du Soleil Atelier team poured their expertise into crafting not just one, but 11 extraordinary costumes – 10 for our acrobats and one for Heidi herself. The intricacy of the designs, featuring over 657 feet of sublimated fabric and countless Swarovski® crystals, showcase Cirque du Soleil’s commitment to pushing artistic boundaries.
The execution of this project, requiring almost 2,000 hours of meticulous work, demonstrated the dedication of the Cirque du Soleil team. The peacock costume, resembling a carefully built puzzle, was a testament to the craftsmanship that defines Cirque du Soleil. The orange carpet reveal on Halloween unfolded as a mesmerizing spectacle, with Heidi Klum and Cirque du Soleil artists showcasing the costume’s dynamic elements with ‘live’ peacock plumage.
Upon embarking on this exhilarating collaboration with Heidi Klum for #HeidiHalloween2023, Cirque du Soleil’s primary objective extended beyond the intricacies of costume design and execution. In this instance, the aim was to leverage the power of social media to swiftly capture a popular cultural moment and spread the fascinating story of this unique event and collaboration, all while highlighting the remarkable craftsmanship of Cirque du Soleil.
Understanding the digital landscape's influence, the goal was to harness the immediacy and real-time impact social media can have on reach. By strategically showcasing glimpses of the creative process, behind-the-scenes moments, and sneak peeks of the artful peacock costume, Cirque du Soleil aimed to engage a global audience outside the core fan base and build anticipation for cultural moments beyond the stage.
Over 20 hours of rehearsals were needed to bring Heidi Klum’s incredible vision to life, including a visit to Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters in Montreal. Meticulous planning was crucial for a smooth reveal of the peacock costume’s multiple moving parts, which took place live at the event right in front of the media’s eyes.
After Heidi Klum’s invited guests had arrived and showed off their own costumes on the orange carpet, everything went quiet in anticipation of the grand reveal. The guttural chants of the peacock disturbed the suspended air and original music played as acrobats debuted their surprise performance. Expertly setting the stage for Heidi’s reveal by diverting the attention of the crowd, the icon was able to make her entrance from under the cover of the acrobat’s plumage.
And then 11 became one...
Alongside Heidi Klum, 10 Cirque du Soleil acrobats created with their bodies the live image of a peacock, with Heidi Klum standing tall as the iridescent head and neck of the bird. The articulated display took all attendees by surprise as she once again found a way to outdo her work from last years’ Halloween by bringing on board Cirque du Soleil’s hard-working creators.
Content & KPIs
Content capture was executed with the utmost secrecy ahead of the reveal and served a very specific purpose – to be shared by Cirque du Soleil and Heidi Klum public relations and social media teams generating anticipation, excitement, and fandom among the combined audiences for each icon. Additionally, the discretely captured content was strategically designed to provide exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the collaborative partnership and process.
Cirque du Soleil’s social media audience experienced the main look, a docu-style look at the creative process, as well as unique point-of-view of the artists that rehearsed and performed alongside the icon. To ensure a comprehensive and engaging post-event experience, all videos and written content can be found on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Blog.
The enchanting display that stole the night garnered 4.9M Impressions, 9.5M Reach, and 594K Engagements across Social Media channels. Press Exposure amassed 100 Placements and 7B Impressions from publishers such as The New York Times, Vogue, People, Entertainment Tonight, and many, many more.
This partnership with Heidi Klum and Cirque du Soleil held tremendous opportunity to elevate two brands to new heights in the PR and Social Media space, while creating an unforgettable narrative that would resonate with audiences around the world. Collaborating with an icon like Heidi Klum on Halloween not only delivers global reach and recognition, but authentic storytelling, social media amplification, and cultural relevancy to unlock unique marketing opportunities.
Although the advantages of such a collaboration are extensive, they are without guarantee. However, combining the authenticity and credibility that both household names have built, trusting the outcome of the creative process was the only risk to take.
The collaboration between Heidi Klum and Cirque du Soleil was truly an ideal fusion of two creative powerhouses. It brought forth not only a signature Heidi Klum concept, but also showcased the remarkable craftsmanship of Cirque du Soleil, resulting in a Halloween spectacle that left the audience in awe. Together, we seamlessly blended artistic visions, leading to a transformative and unforgettable night celebrated by both Halloween enthusiasts and celebrities alike. The fusion of Cirque du Soleil and Heidi Klum unlocked instant access to two sets of broad and engaged audiences, while creating viral content for Cirque du Soleil leaving a lasting impression on millions of potential customers.
About Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is a world leader in live entertainment. In addition to producing world-renowned circus arts shows, the Company brings its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms, such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, and special events. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to positively impact people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art. Since its creation in 1984, more than 400 million people have been inspired on 6 continents and 86 countries. The Canadian company now employs more than 4000 employees, including 1200 artists from 80 different nationalities. For more information about Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, please visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/.