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Posts Tagged ‘theatre’

A picture tells a thousand stories (potentially)

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Last week saw the launch of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme; a bumper listing of the 2,542 shows that will make up this year’s arts extravaganza in ‘the Athens of the North‘.

I’m no stranger to Edinburgh in August having a) been born there and b) spent many a summer working during the Fringe and, more recently, writing for shows being performed there. But this year something exciting has happened…

Every entry in the Fringe programme features details about the show: a title, production company, short blurb, times, dates, price and a picture. It’s the picture element that raised an eyebrow. Most of course, feature pertinent shots of the star of the show smiling earnestly or mid-action but two in particular didn’t. They had submitted QR codes. Clever.

Of course I immediately scanned them, intrigued by the placement. Though this was swiftly followed by disappointment when both simply led to the act in question’s website. Which was already printed below. Which was good… (in fact still pretty cool) But it could have gone further…

Think of the possibilities. Through a virtual code you’ve just opened a whole world to talk to your audience. So don’t simply send them to your website homepage. Create a bespoke experience that acknowledges their source: the programme (or edfringe.com website)

And what else could you do?
An AR marker to show a ‘trailer’ for the show at your website?
A show about supermarkets could have a barcode that only be scanned at checkouts encouraging a bit of exploring.
An optical illusion?

We always love to see the seemingly constant elements of life twisted and flipped to do something engaging and conversational so I hope these shows sell a few extra tickets for their ingenuity (I won’t mention them here, you’ll just have to go exploring yourself to find out!)

Oh, and if you see any other particularly conversational ways of selling shows (this guy springs to mind), let us know…


NB: James will be following up with the SMI11 write up from yesterday as soon as the slides become available online

Talking about Jerusalem

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

This is London’s Apollo Theatre, currently showing The Royal Court Theatre’s production of ‘Jerusalem’.

This ‘comic and contemporary vision of rural life‘ has been the subject of many a rave review with such headline grabbing one liners such as:

– The Guardian

– The Daily Telegraph

– The Independent

These rather catchy and awe-inspiring reviews are in fact so good, that the company in question has had them blown up and put on the outside walls of the theatre itself.

However, when I buy my ticket later this week it won’t be because of any of the press that I’ve demonstrated so far. Nor will it be thanks to the rave review that my hairdresser gave me only a few weeks ago.

The reason I want to see Jerusalem (and in fact the only reason I want to see Jerusalem) is this:

See them?

This photo was taken at 9:26am on a Tuesday morning. Every day I walk past this theatre on my way to work and every day since the play first opened, there has been a queue of at least twenty people waiting in line, in the rain, to get their hands on tickets of their own.

Yes, the play really is that good.

But what of word of mouth? I already confessed that my hairdresser had told me herself that it was good. But that wasn’t enough.
I’d read the reviews, again – still not quite enough.

This final piece of the puzzle, this commitment to the cause made real, completed my purchasing journey almost instantly.

In short:

  • Your customer’s purchasing journey could start anywhere.
  • Is this WOM? No. But I’m telling you, right?
  • Did WOM help? Not really, but it was part of the journey.
  • Above you can see at least twenty nascent advocates CRYING OUT to be engaged with. Apollo umbrellas? A thank you for their patron? Something?

How can you make your guest experience more conversational?

Think. Just think.