Great Resources for Theatre Marketing Inspiration
A key component in any successful theatre marketing campaign is grabbing your audience’s attention. To stand out in the ocean of sights and sounds that make up modern life, you’ll need to be creative. After directing so much of our attention to the product we’re putting up on stage, it can feel like we don’t have any creative juice left in the tank to devote to promotion. So here are some resources that feature examples of outstanding marketing to give you a little theatre marketing inspiration. (It might also be helpful to check out my big list of theatre marketing tactics.)
When I sit in the audience and watch a theatre production, it always makes me anxious for the next time I get to hop on stage. Observing the artistic choices of other performers gives me energy. I see subtle movements and approaches that I want to try. Sometimes I’ll see an actor do things that take me out of the moment… and recognize that I’m guilty of the same mistake in some of my own performances. In either case I find a new excitement for my own work. In short: I get inspired.
The same thing can happen with marketing. It doesn’t happen automatically for me the way it does when I watch a performance. With marketing I have to work at it. Like everyone else I’m bombarded with marketing messages all day every day. I get used to tuning them out, so I have to force myself to stop and look when I want to see what message a promoter is trying to communicate. And how are they doing it?
When I can focus that way, I often get some great insights. I see ways that I can adapt a brilliant marketing idea to promote my show. My final version is probably very different than the piece I’m being inspired by. After all I may be looking at an ad or promotional idea that doesn’t have anything to do with theatre.
So here I’m sharing a few resources to get your mental wheels turning. Some are directly related to theatre, and many come from other fields. As you look at these examples, notice which ones stand out to you. (It won’t be hard because some of them are extremely clever.) How can you adapt these ideas – sometimes scaling down the budget – to promote your show?
The Inspiration Room
The Inspiration Room is a beautiful blog that highlights great examples of marketing. You can start at the beginning and read every entry in order if you have a lot of time to kill, or you can use to drop down boxes at the top of the page to focus on excellent examples of media like postcards, radio ads, and video.
Behance casts a wider net, cataloging examples of even more creative fields. There is commercial and marketing work here, but you’ll also find examples of artistic creations that don’t necessarily have a commercial agenda.
Clio Awards Catalog
The Clio Awards are prestigious international awards given to advertisements across various media types like print ads, video commercials, etc. They’ve conveniently cataloged previous winners and allow you to search through some of the best advertising in the world. [Update: So it appears the Clio Awards now require you to register with your email in order to view the catalog. It’s free, but note the two checkboxes specifying what you will allow them to do with your email address.]
30 Delightful & Inspiring Modern Theatre Posters
100 Guerrilla Marketing Advertisements for your Inspiration
Ready to really think outside the box? Here are some ideas that are part advertisement and part installation. Duplicating most of these ideas as shown here would require a serious financial investment, but think about how you can scale these down to fit your market.
Marketing Inspiration: 100 Clever and Creative Advertisements
100 Guerilla Marketing Ideas: Grow Sales With Zero Budget
The visual inspiration is great, but don’t forget to feed your brain with ideas. TED Talks is a collection of very smart people talking about their specific areas of expertise, and the collection is massive. You can certainly do a search for theatre or marketing, but you might find the best ideas from looking for speakers who are talking about the themes and subjects of your show.
Theatre marketing top tips from West Yorkshire Playhouse
This short article from the Guardian shares insights from the team at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on how they approach marketing their productions. In particular there’s a few good takeaways on how to reach out to local press.
Need regular inspiration? Subscribe here for more tips about theatre marketing delivered straight to your inbox.