STAGELIGHT & MAGIC Promo, Case study THE HON. PUSS by Leo Burnett Colombo

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Industry Cinemas, Theatres & Concert Halls
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Sri Lanka
Agency Leo Burnett Colombo
Executive Creative Director Trevor Kennedy
Art Director Danushka Kathriarachchi
Released May 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Integrated Media
Product/Service: THEATRE COMPANY
Date of First Appearance: May 14 2009 12:00AM
Entry URL:
Executive Creative Director: Trevor Kennedy (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Creative Director / Senior English Copywriter: Lalindra Nanayakkara (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Creative Group Head / Senior Sinhala Copywriter: Dileep Kulathunga (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Creative Group Head / Senior Art Director: Athula Kathriarachchi (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Art Director: Danushka Kathriarachchi (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Consultant AV Productions: Shalini Senaratne (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Manager AV Productions: Mehnaz Ilhamdeen (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Executive AV Productions: Mohamed Ikram (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Manager Digital Art Production: Ranjith Perera (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Senior Digital Art Production: Suranga Fernando (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Director Brand Planning: Murtaza A. Tajbhoy (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Brand Planning Executive: Anjula Rasanga Weerasinghe (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Executive AV Productions: Neesha Piyasena (Leo Burnett Solutions)
Media placement: PR - Sunday Times, Daily Mirror, FaceBook, Twitter, - 14 May 2009
Media placement: Press - SundayTimes, Daily Mirror - 14 May 2009
Media placement: Radio - E-FM - 14 May 2009
Media placement: Digital - FaceBook, YouTube & Twitter - 14 May 2009
Media placement: Poster - Commons, Bayleaf, Caef On 5th (Restourents, Cafes & Other Public Places Where Ou - 15 May 2009
Media placement: Public Notice & Cut Outs - Commons, Bayleaf, Caef On 5th (Restourents, Cafes & Other Public Places Where Ou - 15 May 2009
Media placement: TV - ETV - 05 June 2009
Media placement: Viral - YouTube , LKTube - 10 June 2009
Media placement: Souvenir In The Form Of A Government Gazette - Lionel Wendt (The Theatre Venue) - 19 June 2009

Results and Effectiveness
3,470 tickets were sold ensuring full houses on 4 nights. Final two night’s additional 100 people stood and watched the play. SL cricket team playing the 20/20 world cup finals couldn’t stop people watching the play. Tickets were sold in the black market at 3 times the price and were in fact on sale on eBay! Due to high demand, a repeat performance was held again with a full house. Over 2000 Facebook friends. Puss became part of local idioms. Remarked by a Minister on a political platform defending the country’s President stating that he is no Pusswedilla!

Creative Execution
Created an absurd tax on laughter to arouse the curiosity of our audience and communicate about the play. We used usual media that a tax announcement would deploy, starting with a public notice and a media statement with media interviews, discussions and debates in the mainline media. Then took the message to the public domain, for this purpose we deployed posters, stickers etc., giving more details of the tax in all languages. Like in real life political matters, we impersonated opposition leaders & other popular figure voices to have contradictory point of views, which became TV, radio spots & viral videos. Puss declared the theatre venue to be a tax-free zone. Then the details of the production were released via online media and the press. A discount voucher was printed in the newspaper offering value of the ticket, titled as the Pusswedilla Economic Relief voucher, which drew initial sales.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Highly successful “Pusswedilla” stage play was launched in 2007. Challenge was to follow up on the first campaign which used real life political tactics and make it relevant to the times. The character ‘Puss’ had a following & the theatre company had greater ambition for this staging of Puss. Sri Lankan government uses taxes as its regular income generator e.g. A brand new vehicle is taxed at 310% of the price! There is a tax to build the nation and a tax on using your credit card! Another absurd tax on laughter was an engaging way to arouse the interest of people. It was especially relevant because the play was a parody on the office of the Executive President, whose prerogative was to levy taxes as and when required. It brought Puss to life in a fresh and engaging way.