Here’s my kooky thought of the day:
Get Twitter to sponsor intermissions. Rename them “Twittermissions,” in order to encourage people to “tweet” about the shows they are seeing during the break, thereby spreading the word-of-mouth faster than ever.
Ok, so maybe Twitter isn’t going to pony up any cash for this bit of branding (only partly due to the fact that they’re not making any money), but there is something about the idea that we can apply without them.
The feelings that inspire passionate word of mouth about any event or product are strongest when the audience is experiencing the event, or immediately thereafter.
Ask yourself . . . When are you most likely to talk about a great book you’ve read? I’d bet it’d be right after finishing the last chapter. A movie? While walking out the door, or even right after a climatic event during the movie, much to the chagrin of the people around you (“Oh my God, did you just see that!?!?”). A meal? When you’ve taken that first bite.
And what about a musical? Right when that curtain comes down . . . at intermission or at the end.
Smokey Joe’s Cafe (in the mid/late 90s) was one of the first shows that I remember trying to take advantage of this post-ovation-energy by including show branded postcards in all of the Playbills and encouraging people to fill them out when the show was over. If they did and then addressed them to a friend, the show would pick up the postage and mail them for free.
10 years later, the technology to spread that same message is the in the pockets of 9 out of 10 of adults.
It’s not our job to mail the postcards anymore. It’s our job to point people to their pockets; to get them tweeting and texting and “nexting” (which is my word for whatever is coming “next” in the social media pipeline . . . and guaranteed, there will be something). And we need to do it while they are at the theater, before they even get out of their seats, if we can.
Why? Because that’s when the desire to spread that a positive message is the strongest.
You know the other time the desire to spread a positive (or negative message) is strongest? When an audience member, or potential audience member, sees an ad:
POTENTIAL AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh look, a poster for My First Time. I want to see that show.
FORMER AUDIENCE MEMBER: I saw it last week! It’s so funny. You should definitely go.
Yep, without a doubt, and that’s what traditional media is for.
But ask yourself this . . . which method of spreading word of mouth is cheaper?
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