The marketing material points consumers to a new website, thisisbroadway.org, that features, describes and links to sales sites for every Broadway show that will be onstage this season; two shows, “Springsteen on Broadway” and “Pass Over,” are already running, and 15 more plan to start performances in September. The site also features recommendations based on user interests, and information about safety protocols (all shows are requiring that patrons be vaccinated and masked).
“The goal is to let the world know we’re back, and, specifically, to drive ticket sales for the first six months from the Northeast corridor and the Eastern Seaboard, which is where we believe is our best opportunity to put people in seats,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, which is a trade association representing theater owners and producers. The League has set aside $1.5 million for the campaign, but says that the campaign will have a broader reach, which they estimate will be worth more than $3 million in advertising value, thanks to discounted ad rates and support from other organizations.
The campaign is unusual for Broadway because individual shows usually do their own marketing. But this is an unusual time, when concerns about the Delta variant have made an already precarious reopening seem even more risky. The League, citing the atypical nature of this season, says it will not disclose box office grosses, but St. Martin said the industry’s September sales are strong.
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“There will be shows, as there always are, that don’t do well, and I’m sure they’ll blame it on the pandemic,” St. Martin said. “But I’m very encouraged.”
Theater owners agreed to pool consumer data from a period of five years, including 17 million ticket sales in the Northeast, to improve the campaign’s targeting, and multiple unions agreed to allow the use of archival video for advertising. Collectively the spots feature 113 shows, 735 performers, and one dog (Sandy, from “Annie,” of course).