MARKETING THE ESCAPE

Like many of you in the Live Entertainment business, I recently attended the Concert Industry Consortium in Los Angeles.  The one message that came out loud and clear, concert ticket sales are holding steady. Most of you feel the reason is “people need an escape from everyday life”.  It’s true.  Same thing happened with movie ticket sales during the depression, and box office for 2008 and early 2009 has been holding strong in our current economic downturn as well.  So why not try and market that “Escape”?

This isn’t much different than my preaching about marketing the experience over the content.  Sure you need to tell people that Disney on Ice is coming to town, but it is that special bond that young girls share with their moms at the show that makes it a magical experience.  And since most purchase decisions are made on an emotional level, the more you can share that experience with fans, the more tickets you will sell.    With the price of cable TV coming down, the ability to pin-point target audiences, and the sophistication in “remnant buys”, television is one place you should be spending more money…and time.

Over the years, we have seen an increase in the use of television advertising in Live Entertainment.  But the truth is, we are still selling who is coming, where they are playing, and do you remember these songs (or shows, movies, games, races, etc).  They will show some live shots from previous performances, maybe a crowd shot or two, but it is basically what you will see at the show…not the time you will have.  In many cases (in Live Entertainment) I could make an argument that cable TV is worth double radio and print put together.  We should be looking at more co-promotions with TV.  Visual is a great way to sell LIVE.

Where is the “Fan Economic Stimulus Package” (so far we have only seen Goldenvoice/AEG-Live do it with the Stagecoach Festival layaway ticket…AND IT IS WORKING…where are the rest of you)?  Where are the ads showing fans having the time of their lives?  Think about a spot where a family is on each others nerves from being in couped-up in the house all winter…nothing to do…complaining… then the voice-over  asks viewers to “Escape From The Everyday”.  Next they show the family go online…buy tickets easily, jump in the car (everyone is now excited)…they see others headed to the same game/show on the freeway…have their tickets taken by a friendly staff member, and share the fun of LIVE.  It is certainly worth a try!

Stop just telling people who is coming to town and show them why they need to buy a ticket.

Speak with you soon…

Jim

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