Friday, August 01, 2003

Fringe Opening Night - Part 3

The Publicity

You can't swing a dead cat without running into some kind of show advertisement.

I spent the bulk of the evening at Minneapolis Theater Garage, and the artists just kept on coming. There's a table in the corner literally filled with show cards. And more kept getting placed there as the night wore on and more actors, writers, directors and other assorted show reps dropped by and then were off to paper the next venue. Also, posters all over the inside and outside of the doors.

Brilliant Marketing Move #1 - The one man of "One Man Hamlet" and his female stage manager both came to a show I was at wearing T-shirts with the name and image of the show on the front, and the name and one word glowing reviews of the show on the back. Crafty.

Mystifying Audience Moment #1 - Two well-meaning theater-going ladies were chatting up the female stage manager in the "One-Man Hamlet" T-shirt and asked (I'm not making this up),"So, are you in the show?" the math. (And while you're at it, check the gender)

Hint to show-pluggers - Color helps. Even the tiniest bookmark-size show ad, if it had color, drew my attention more effectively than a black and white copy. Same holds true for posters. Doesn't need to be a photo, doesn't even need to be a picture. One card just had alternating stripes of nearly flourescent green and black, in which were spelled out the title of the show. In this case, size doesn't matter. Appearance does.

Plea to show-pluggers - Leave some room for your fellow Fringers. A couple of shows laid out huge posters taking up all kinds of table space that might have held cards for six shows instead of just one. One show had both cards *and* 8 1/2"x11" flyers out on the same table. That makes me like you less, not more. There's persistence, and then there's gluttony.

Brilliant Marketing Move #2 - A photographer that does headshots had a stack of her cards on the show table. Simple business cards with a couple of images of quality, interesting head shots on them. Way to drum up business. I don't even need a headshot and I almost took one because the photos were so nice.

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