I wanted a gift card that wasn’t there.

At 2:17 AM this morning, I found myself roaming the aisles of a Rite-Aid near me.  I picked up my a few essentials . . . some Riptide Rush Gatorade, toothpaste, and a gift card for a friend’s bday.

It took me a good ten minutes to pick out which gift card I wanted to buy, because as you can see from this photo, there was quite the selection.  There were Amex gift cards, and Best Buy gift cards, and Macaroni Grill gift cards, and even iTunes gift cards.

There were literally three different displays of cards for buyers like me to choose from.

Except, of course, there were no Broadway gift cards.

Wah-wah.

It’d be pretty nichey of us to get a Broadway gift card distributed in this network, but I believe that this sort of placement is essential.

We need Broadway to be a part of the consumer conversation.  We need to remind people it’s an option.

And, we definitely need it to be every single place where other entertainment options are available.

Because you know what gift card I ended up buying?

A gift card for movie tickets.

Wah-double-wah.

 

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Comments
  • Eric Grunin says:

    Broadway.com sells Broadway/Off-Broadway gift cards. All you need is a little fancy packaging and they could be sold by Times Square retailers.
    http://www.broadway.com/gift-certificates/

  • I had a friend who received a broadway.com gift certificate and she was not pleased with it. She was not able to specify a specific date or seats. And the tickets must be purchased through broadway.com. THIS is a problem. We need a gift certificate that is more general and can be used at more online sites. Broadway tickets are sold so many ways and places. As always, getting a consensus on how this can be achieved will be work. But I agree, it is important and it is necessary.

  • Michelle Haines says:

    If there is the inventory to sell tickets and a retailer to partner with, maybe you could do it as an individual show. When I worked from the presenting side, our venue partnered with a local large retailer for one of our holiday shows. We also started to explore if a season could be sold as a gift in this way. Still a lot of kinks to work out, but I think there is promise there for shows and promoting Broadway at large.

  • Bryan David says:

    I couldn’t agree more. This is the new wave of marketing. When produced,
    “Whitechapel” ©
    The Life & Times
    of
    ‘Jack The Ripper’
    A Musical Love Story! ™
    We can apply this marketing technique (among others) as a promotional tool. Ready, willing & able…

  • Erin O'Brien says:

    I was going to suggest a Telecharge gift card, but it turns out that they already exist! And now I totally want one for Christmas. But getting them into Rite-Aid will be the challenge.

  • Claire says:

    I was a telecharge gift card once (by someone who knows I love Broadway) and was thrilled. 🙂 It would be nice to have a more visible/universal option, though.

  • Claire says:

    Sorry, left out a word, I meant I was GIVEN a telecharge gift card. It’s a good option for Broadway fans.

  • Ken,
    That is a brilliant idea. But not everyone wants Telecharge’s handling fees. With your energy and pull, why can’t you start The Broadway Gift Card, and have it available at every box office on (and off) Broadway as well as restaurants near broadway, bookstores, etc.. When people pick up their tix at the b.o., they can also purchase a gift card for friends — and of course, it wont be limited to THAT particular play. Can’t you do this through the producer’s League? And I’ll get all my friends and colleagues to tweet and fb it. Or maybe you could do it through VisitNYCgo.

  • Auntief says:

    I would love a gift card that could be used exclusively on Broadway. I know I can use a gift card from AmEx for purchasing Broadway tickets but a card with a Broadway logo would mean that the giver really knew my tastes well. But alas, my friends don’t understand, and I’ll still get CVS cards — very useful, but never the less I can’t see The Book of Mormon at CVS!!!

  • Sarah Moore says:

    Telecharge should really expand their system- Ticketmaster too

  • Kaylie says:

    The other issue with this story is you bought Gatorade instead of VitaCoco coconut water. Wah-triple-wah.

  • Hi, Ken. I just wanted to share that I bought my daughter and her husband (parents of a one-year old) a gift card for dinner at Applebees and an AMC movie. This was a very affordable option for me, but because we love theatre, I think it would be great to have been able to give them a “dinner and a show” gift card. I know it would be more expensive but if you think about “bundling” (Progressive) or the “packages” offered by say, Expedia (hotel + car rental, etc.) maybe it is possible. What about something like that for your Godspell ticket buyers? Fondly…

  • Michelle H. says:

    Dinner and a show is usually a great option for group sales managers to coordinate directly with partnering restaurants. You can isolate a few performances and bundle the buyers into a group rate. Great fun!

  • WC says:

    I completely agree with that there should be Broadway gift cards. I too was at a local store and had trouble picking out the right gift card for a fellow theater lover (I ended up getting an AMC gift card). What a lost opportunity for Broadway! I won’t mind seeing Shubert or Nederlander gift cards at my Rite-Aid 🙂

  • Jen says:

    Yes! Yes! A thousand times Yes! If such a card existed, everyone one of my family and friends would get one for Christmas, B-day, Anniversary!

  • Jane says:

    How about selling all-theatre (covering direct to theatre and including both B’way and Off-B’way, among cooperating producers) gift cards on site, along with T-shirts and programs?

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