Beginning with an explanation of promotion and the communication process itself, this chapter focuses on the 3rd P of the marketing mix. The objectives of promotion are examined: creating awareness for a product, stimulating demand, encouraging buyers to try a product, perhaps the most important objective, and others.
The chapter then introduces the Promotional Mix, the four promotion activities: advertising, personal selling, public relations, and sales promotion, all of which may be used to promote a product, briefly explaining each. Some of these may be used alone for promotion (primary tools of advertising and personal selling), and some must be used together with a primary tool (secondary, public relations, sales promotion).
How to select which activities might be best is also discussed. In deciding how to promote a product, a marketer must consider his or her goals, resources including money, the target market, the product, and the cost of the promotion methods. AIDA is an acronym that stands for attention, interest, desire, and action – the stages of consumer involvement with a promotional message.
a. Read the chapter.
b. Read the case: Wicked Awesome! Musical Enchants Record Crowds! To find the case, scroll all the way to the end of these assignments; Ch. 15 Case: Wicked Awesome! Musical Enchants Record Crowds!
When the curtains first lifted on the Broadway musical Wicked, it appeared that audiences had been scared away from the box office. The Gershwin Theatre was rarely full and a production that had cost over $14 million to make posted advance ticket sales of only $9 million.
Crippled by cost overruns, cast changes, song rewriting, and a 2003 start date that was much later than projected, excitement and enthusiasm waned for what was once a much-anticipated show. Based on Gregory Maguires best-selling 1995 novel of the same name, the story is a prequel to Frank Baums 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz. The musical examines the lives of two teenage witches, Glinda and Elephaba, and wonders which one is truly evil.
Glinda, a beautiful, ambitious, and popular blond, grows up to become the Good Witch; Elephaba, a green-skinned, intelligent, free-spirited rebel, develops into the nefarious Wicked Witch of the West.
Elaborate sets, lighting, and costumes and a score by Academy Award-winning songwriter Stephen Schwartz did not impress the New York Times, however.
Its scathing review claimed, Theres trouble in Emerald City . . . [its] a sermon of a musical.
Unfazed, Wicked producer Marc Platt, a former Universal Pictures executive, never lost faith in his production. He remained convinced that if he could just get people in the door, they would leave completely captivated by what he considered a truly exceptional experience. So, he cut ticket prices by 30 percent and watched as patrons began to make repeat ticket purchases during intermission.
After the shows, swarms of enthralled teenage girls began to gather outside the stage door in hopes of meeting the cast. As the target market emerged before his eyes, Platt leveraged his Hollywood experience to turn Wicked into a musical marketing machine.
The hot ticket sales during show intermissions indicated that the shows success would hinge on word-of-mouth referrals from the shows core audience teenage girls. To get more of them talking, Platt and the marketing team published feature articles on the shows Web site and seeded Internet chat rooms with Wicked related topics.
An all-out promotions blitz ensued! Wicked lined up character endorsement deals with makeup manufacturer, Stila, and sent hot new stars Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel to Sephora stores to give makeovers to teen fans with Glinda facial glitter and Elephaba lipstick.
In an interesting twist on American Idol, Wicked karaoke contests at malls served as fake auditions that awarded real tickets to the most passionate fans.
Radio promos in New York and Chicago were supported by advertising at Macys and in Elle Girl magazine for a Halloween campaign that lasted a month. As the show became profitable, two U.S. tours were launched.
Today, the shows still routinely sell out, and yearly revenues are more than $200 million. Tickets to the shows on Broadway now command a record-tying price of $110 or more, and the shows take is about $1.3 million a week in New York alone.
Mike Isaacson, vice president of the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, sold an amazing $1.5 million of tickets a mere 48 hours after they went on sale. This show is a rocket because its attracting people from teenagers to grandparents, he mused.
Day-of-show raffles for tickets at sold-out venues give a few lucky patrons a chance to buy $25 tickets.
Those raffles generally appeal to younger theatergoers, but those witch-wannabes bring mom and dad out for the night of mischief too. And their dollars help fund purchases of merchandise at the traveling OzDust Boutiques.
Items like Wicked-branded golf balls, T-shirts, necklaces, and CDs of the shows musical numbers sell at the stands and at https://www.wickedthemusical.com. Sales generate weekly merchandise receipts of more than $300,000.
But that doesnt surprise Marc Platt. Reflecting on the shows universal premise, he quips Theres a little green girl inside all of us.
Sources: Brooks Barnes, How Wicked Cast Its Spell, Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2005, A1, A4;
https://www.wickedthemusical.com, https://broadwayworld.com .
Questions: Please email the answers to me.
1. Identify and describe the elements of Wickeds promotional mix.
2. Describe how the AIDA process worked for various Wicked promotions. Which one do you think was most effective?
3. Did Wicked use a push or a pull promotions strategy? Explain. Push and pull are important terms in marketing, so please check what they mean in Ch. 15 or the marketing glossary and how they apply here, before answering this question.
4. What type of product is Wicked, a good or a service? Do you think it is more challenging to market a product that is a good or a product that is a service? Why?