New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players is the world’s leading organization celebrating the legacy of the Gilbert & Sullivan musical comedy. Our challenge was to expand the core audience to include a new generation of musical comedy lovers who might not be familiar with Gilbert & Sullivan. Starting in 2009, we shifted marketing funds away from traditional direct mail towards an integrated campaign including television and online media. As a result, subscriber base increased by 15%, responses shifted from traditional mail and phone towards less expensive online conversions, and ticket sales continue to grow.
One of the most successful concert tours annually, TSO has been a client since 1999. Although performing only in November and December, the TSO Winter Tour now consistently sells over a million tickets a year, covering over 70 US and Canadian markets. Our strategy has been network television, supported by local buys in specific markets and a strong Internet campaign including re-targeting, geo-specific behavioral and search.
The hit musical about Hollywood’s favorite tough guy in tap shoes enjoyed successful runs in both New York (14 months) and Los Angeles, and is now preparing for a national tour. The primary conflict we faced was trying to find balance between both versions of James Cagney: the vaudeville song-and-dance man and cinema’s original tough guy. The iconic key art seamlessly marries those ideas together, showing a shadowed Cagney in one of his famous dance poses while holding a gun. Campaigns included multiple television commercials, digital banners, subway posters, and more.
In 2011 with a modest budget and lyrics that might have restricted conventional exposure, we used a number of media to not only sell the house out and become the surprise hit of the summer, but extend the run five times. Some of these included weekly strip ads in the New York Post, an outdoor branding campaign using oversized wild postings, Internet banner campaigns, and a clever radio commercial that was converted to an award winning television commercial.
What happens when Henson puppeteers are unleashed? An outrageous, live comedy show for adults only! The biggest challenge was in the messaging. We needed to make it clear that, despite the notion that you’d be seeing Muppets, it would not be appropriate for children. The advertising needed to be clever, irreverent and outrageous in order to match the content of the show. We created print ads and outdoor/subway posters featuring puppets in police mug shots, viral videos that enjoyed thousands of views showing the “casting” process, and a pre-opening television commercial featuring two of the puppets pitching the live show to a human producer who “didn’t get it.”
LADY DAY, the original musical based on the life of Billie Holiday, had successful runs in London and Paris, but had never played in New York. Renowned jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, a Tony and Grammy Award winner, had not been on the New York stage since starring in The Wiz. Strategically we targeted two communities – theatre and jazz. We utilized both traditional and new media initiatives, including a digital campaign, a direct mail brochure, and partnered with the strongest jazz radio station in New York. As a result, pre-opening advance sales were the highest the Little Shubert Theatre has ever experienced.
The Celebrate Israel Parade is the world’s largest celebration of Israel, where over 40,000 marchers and hundreds of thousands enthusiastic spectators gather. Each year we are tasked with designing the artwork based on that year’s theme, the most recent being “70 & Sababa! (70 & Awesome!),” which was meant to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Israel. We execute large-scale outdoor print projects, including street pole banners along 5th Avenue, as well as digital projects including animated banners and email campaigns.
Gotham Comedy Club has always been a leader in its class...simply put, it’s the finest place to see the best standup comedy in New York City. Bar none. But how would they get that message across to a wider audience? The answer was brand building. Listing ads were already bringing folks into the club to see great comics of their choice, but to sustain their lasting success, Gotham knew they would have to stand for funny. We created a full branding campaign with the tagline, “Standup Comedy of the Highest Order” which spoke to Gotham’s commitment to excellence. Three animated TV commercials, subway platform posters, and newspaper cover wraps were among the launch vehicles for this highly acclaimed, award-winning work.
2econd Stage Theatre (2ST), one of the premier non-profit theatre companies in New York offers some of the best new plays written by living American playwrights. Our challenge was to grow the already substantial subscriber base. We created a series of brochures that highlight the originality of the works coupled with the notoriety of their playwrights, with clear branding identity that widens the appeal of the Theatre to a hipper, broader audience. When we began advertising for 2ST, subscription revenue increased 18% and single ticket sales surpassed target goals. Overall income for the year exceeded the prior year by 33%.
iLuminate followed their sensational appearance on America's Got Talent with a live theatrical event in a dazzling mash-up of music, art and electrifying dance harnessing the power of luminosity through state-of-the-art technology. Our goal was to quickly brand the production, taking advantage of their national exposure on AGT and capitalize on the summer tourist season utilizing broadcast, family-oriented print, tourist print, digital media and visual exposure through Youtube and Hulu. We also produced television commercial highlighting a video component that was used on CBS nationally to introduce NCAA basketball games.
Brad Zimmerman’s hilarious and inspiring story about the grit & passion it takes to “make it” as an artist & the sweet rewards that come from never giving up! This hysterical show had a hit run Off-Broadway, and is now enjoying its 2nd year of a National Tour – My Son The Waiter continues to play to sold out audiences across the country.
Church & State The Play is a fast-paced comedy about faith, politics, and “The Twitter.” We were given the challenge of creating key art that represented a show that was both lighthearted and serious at the same time, all in the midst of a tense political climate. We took a graphic approach, also using it as a theme for the website design, and then transitioned smoothly into creating dynamic animated banners and a TV commercial. We also put together email campaigns, direct mail pieces, and other printed collateral.
The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a project of the Archdiocese of New York, presenting more than 75 events in theatre, film, music, and thought per season. The challenge we were presented with was trying to reach a broader, younger audience. Located in the NoHo/East Village section of downtown NYC, we created a wild poster campaign in the neighborhood that highlighted the diversity of the guests and events at the Sheen Center. We accompanied that with a direct mail brochure, and produced other print and digital campaigns for their various events and seasons.
Three Wise Guys, based on the stories of Damon Runyon (“Guys and Dolls”), is a comedic drama chronicling the eventful night shared by Dancing Dan, The Dutchman, and Blondy Swanson. The challenge presented to us was to come up with key art that represented both the innovation of the show, a multimedia performance featuring combinations of light, shadow, and video, while also giving a nod to the early 1930s time period. We then used the elements from the key art to create fun animated digital banners, email campaigns, and printed materials.
Waist Watchers is a hilarious and inspirational musical comedy about four women dishing on food, diets, exercise, friendship, love, and sex. They came to us looking to rebrand their key art, looking for something more modern and fun. We took this as an opportunity to incorporate elements of motion, having the logo stretch and squeeze, playing off of the workout/gym theme from the show. We then took it another step, using this for digital and email campaigns, and used it as the starting point for a full website redesign.
In its second season, AFO came to us to help brand the Festival, increase awareness and build attendance. With limited financial resources, we engaged the AFO advisory board of well-known personalities with roots in solo performance – Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo, Patrick Stewart. While not performing at this festival, these legends of solo performance became part of both outdoor and online campaigns, including wild posters, banner advertising, dedicated email campaigns, and a meta site hosted by Theatermania. These campaigns led to more tickets being sold, more attention in the industry, and more possibilities for future solo performances.
New Tang Dynasty TV, the premiere Chinese language television network in the United States, produces a holiday show every year for both East and Western audiences. The challenge was, while NTDTV knows their target quite well, the West is much more elusive to them. Enter Hofstetter+Partners. We created a fun and colorful ad campaign that literally blends the charm of the East with the holiday spirit of the West, using familiar holiday song titles with a Chinese twist. The creative ran in print, on buses and TV during the holiday season.
Now in it’s 12th year, the Other Israel is an annual festival of groundbreaking films, in-depth conversations, and special events showcasing the lives and stories of Israel’s minority populations.
Our integrated marketing campaign included traditional print, outdoor and a strong online and social networking mix. The theme of the show – the demise of the great world empires – reflects how the attitudes, appetites and bad habits that toppled the world’s most powerful nations are repeated even today. Performances began in the middle of one of the most highly marketed political seasons in history. We kicked off with a television campaign that parodied the negative political commercials in the temperament of these past world empires. Our commercial went viral, was picked up by press/ blogs, and was featured in the Huffington Post. Long Story Short completed a successful Broadway run and has embarked on a national tour.