PRELUDE TO VIGIL by Happy Soldiers for SPIRITHOUSE THEATRE COMPANY

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PRELUDE TO VIGIL

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Industry Cinemas, Theatres & Concert Halls, Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Direct marketing
Market Australia
Agency Happy Soldiers
Copywriter Happy Soldiers
Producer Karen Martin
Released March 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Ambient Media (Large Scale)
Advertiser: SPIRITHOUSE THEATRE COMPANY
Product/Service: THEATRE PRODUCTION
Agency: HAPPY SOLDIERS
Date of First Appearance: Mar 3 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: HAPPY SOLDIERS, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Creative Director: Happy Soldiers (Happy Soldiers)
Art Director: Happy Soldiers (Happy Soldiers)
Copywriter: Happy Soldiers (Happy Soldiers)
Producer: Karen Martin (Happy Soldiers)
Agency Producer: Rachael Sampson (Happy Soldiers)
Media placement: Script - Direct - 03.03.2010
Media placement: Posters - Outdoor - 03.03.2010
Media placement: Facebook Group - Online - 03.03.2010
Media placement: EDM - Online - 03.03.2010
Media placement: Stage Play - Ambient - 03.03.2010

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
Sydney’s Spirithouse Theatre Company needed to boost ticket sales for their biggest production of the year - Morris Panych’s ‘Vigil’. It is a play featuring just two cast members. To fill Sydney’s renowned Old Fitzroy Theatre every night we needed to give people who usually wouldn’t attend theatre a special reason to go, something they could not ignore.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
The usual approach of using print, posters and flyers to advertise a play would not do for the huge numbers we needed to fill the theatre. We needed to target people who wouldn't usually go to see the theatre and we needed them to buy tickets. By changing the actual play to encourage a new audience we utilized a medium never before used in theatre advertising - the actual script. Spirithouse is one of the more contemporary theatre companies in Australia and this idea suited their brand strategy of 'getting more people involved in theatre' to the core.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
We discovered an insight. People are far more likely to go and see a play if they know someone in it. But 'Vigil' only had two cast members. So we decided to change it. We wrote a new scene into the play that required 25 new actors. These actors changed each week. Firstly we had to gather people for the casting. So we started with a direct response casting call. This went out to a wide audience with posters to acting colleges, pubs and clubs. We cast, rehearsed and got them ready for the stage. Our new cast told their friends, family and entire social network about their new role through social media and word of mouth. These people responded by buying all the tickets to see them perform. The play sold out.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
Every night the new actors took to the stage the play sold out. Within just days of announcing the new cast, the response at the box office was clear. It experienced record bookings with only 10% of tickets remaining available at the door. The cast, which changed each week loved the experience of acting in a high-end Sydney theatre performance and the people who bought tickets to see them perform loved the experience. The new scene didn't just encourage a new audience but also got on the pages of national press.