Broadway Plays Marketing Moneyball. Hype Wins.

I’m fresh off the plane from NYC (fun!), tons of content at my fingertips. First up: the not original notions that New York City is 1) a wee filter bubble and 2) know how to market Hype.

Now Showing: Perspective and The Filter Bubble

This was my first time visiting the MOMA, wonderful. Art – what’s good, what’s bad, what is art – classic example of subjective, of perspective. See also: many a New Yorker comic or (possibly fake?) university prank.

Not many funny Broadway bubble memes. This will have to do.

What we let in, what we filter out. The things we read, what we watch, the conversations we hall all shape our perspectives and our values, our tastes, likes and dislikes.

The hotel staff we talked to for recommendations or the restaurant server who totally loved a certain show, they live and work in the NYC filter bubble – and it showed.

Moneyball on Broadway

From my PR perspective, the theater scene is an interesting lesson in marketing, in business. Let’s play Moneyball:

By the numbers: There are only so many theaters on Broadway (let me Wikipedia that for you: 41) and only so many more Off. There’s only so many seats in each house meaning only X number of people have the opportunity to see each show each night.

Econ 101: Limited supply of seats and tickets drives interest and creates an easy, ad-friendly sell out. Demand exceeds supply, driving prices. Every night continues to sell out which drives even more interest and prices.

Publicity: The media employ theater critics. Critics offer reviews, pans and ad copy hyperbole. The theater elite offer award nominations. Critics critique the reviews and awards nominations, generating even more awareness.

WOM: Producers launch big money advertising campaigns. People start talking. Shows become increasingly popular, driving prices even higher. Is there some psychology at play? Prices being so high, perhaps that guards against a ‘buyer’s remorse’ as customers rationalize enjoyment per their expense.

Filter Bubble + Moneyball = Hype Wins

Change ‘effects’ to ‘marketing’ and that’s kinda what I’m typing.

NYC is media central, with Hype perhaps the longest running show on Broadway. The sell outs, the mania, the crazy prices, the marketing campaigns – everything gets reported and posted, tagged and tweeted.

All of that buzz adds up to a must-see, runaway marketing success, that may or may not actually be any good.

Which is a long way of typing: I enjoyed the TKTS-priced, Tony-nominated Miss Saigon revival much more than the full priced, always sold out, everyone said it was ‘OMG hilarious’ (meh. YMMV.) Tony-winning Book of Mormon.

Broadway has seen its share of hits, misses, star power flame-outs and audience burnouts. When it comes to marketing Hype, it knows how to win.

When was the last time HYPE got you?

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