Re: Marketing Dance

Jennifer Gwirtz (
Mon, 8 Jun 1998 13:42:14 -0700

I've recently seen an advertising medium which seems to have a lot of
promise and I was wondering if anyone has tried it. A few companies are
putting out displays in cafes and clubs of free postcards on a nice, glossy
stock, promoting everything from individual graphic designers to isps,
movies and shows. One of the companies which has been making these is
called "Go-Card", although there is at least one other that I've seen. The
one person who I know who has used these to promote her dance performance
filled her house, although I don't know if it was as a result of her cards
or something else.

The thing that I like about these cards is that they are too nice to just
dump in a trashcan. I actually collected them for a while and even used
them to write to friends. Many of them are really beautiful.

Any opinions on these?


>> This mail has nothing to do with dance or technology, but since you nearly
>> all have experience advertising performances I though I'd ask whether you
>> might help soothe my guilty conscience about postering for my latest
>> concert. Or maybe you'll scold me.
>Probably neither.
>Posters and flyers are probably the least efficient (in terms of
>labor and money) means of marketing dance. I doubt if as many as 100
>people in the entire world have evr come to a concert purely because
>of seeing it advertised on posters and flyers.
>What posters are good for is reinforcing a message that people
>have already heard elsewhere; no message really "sinks in"
>to people until they've seen or heard it three times. . .so what we
>need to do is find other media, and then use the posters to support
>What might these media be?
>Radio and TV. In this country, at least, broadcast stations are
>required, as a condition of their licenses, to provide a certain
>amount of community service. I'm not speaking, in this case, about
>the 15-second "Public Service Announcements" read whenever the
>announcer feels like it and ignored by the listeners; what we need to
>do is negotiate "media sponsorship" agreements. These entail a
>certain (predefined) numbers of 30 or 60 second spots aired at
>specific times of day. Media sponsorship might also include on-air
>interviews. It's all negotiable.
>As good as radio spots (actually better) are ticket giveaways. Why
>better? Each one works for you twice. The announcers says, "We have
>two tickets to the XYZ performance for the third caller. . .etc.,
>etc. . . ." and then plays a piece of music, after which he or she
>"back announces" by saying, "The winner of the 2 tickets was. . . ."
>(They usually announce the phone number for people who didn't win but
>want to attend anyway).
>Other useful media:
>Direct mail. Not as obnoxious as email spam and better than posters
>in that interested recipients can immediately post your card on their
>refrigerators or bulletin boards.
>Billboards. Better than posters because they're big and they're
>noticed by many more people. In this country, the outdoor
>advertising companies are under political attack i many cities from
>activists who prefer to see the trees in their original, non-paper
>state; this means that the companies are eager to do things that will
>create good will for them. I was able to get 5 small and one large
>billboard for the cost of printing and labor -- about $500 (total)
>for 6 billboards that were in place for a month.
>Paid print ads. If your community has a weekly tabloid, this is a
>good place to spend some money; the ad stays around for a week (as
>opposed to a daily paper) and the space tends to be cheaper. A
>psychological advantage is that paid print ads give you credibility
>in the eyes of potential audience members who are unfamiliar with
>your work. One way to defray the cost of print ads is to negotiate
>"ad swaps", in which the paper gives you a discount in return for an
>ad in your printed program.
>Note that part of your deal with any of the above media may involve
>reciprocal ads in your program.
>All of your advertising should include the 5 W's of journalism: Who,
>what, when, where, and why. This last is the most often neglected; if
>you don't tell the audience WHY they should attend, they won't. Any
>sale is contingent upon solving a problem for the customer. In this
>case, the customers' problem is that they want to see a cutting edge,
>high-tech dance performance; your task is to use your advertising to
>communicate that attending your concert will solve that problem for
>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer

ZooDanceOpera ** Dance * Theater * Butoh * Puppetry

"I'm going to my happy place and wait for the cheese."
-a billboard in San Francisco