Gorgeous Posters! Fabulous Flyers!

….which one is your show again?

I had a great meeting with a theatre company today to talk about marketing for their upcoming show. It was mentioned they were doing posters and flyers – but once we’d all nodded in confirmation, we moved immediately on to what else could be done to market a show.

The photo above was taken at the 2011 Toronto Fringe – it’s the ‘poster board’. Frightening, isn’t it? How do you choose what show to see when there are so many shows competing for your attention?

Okay maybe that’s not fair – it’s the Fringe, and there’s huge competition while that’s going on. Fair enough. So I took this picture today.

This is one example of tables, windowsills, shelves and nooks all over the city where people have put their flyers in the hope that you will see it, pick it up, and go to see the show. Technically this example could be called niche marketing as it’s in the Distillery and there are lots of artists there. But at the same time it’s spray and pray – putting down a bundle of flyers where you think people might pick them up. We all do it – but that’s not really marketing – it’s distribution and should be only one line item of many in your marketing plan.

We need to remember that most marketing tools are simple a reminder to audiences that your show exists. By the time someone sees a poster or a flyer, you want them to already have something fixed in their mind about your show.

What else are you going to do? Let’s talk.

3 Responses to “Gorgeous Posters! Fabulous Flyers!”

  1. Stacks of flyers are useless in those situations. I know this because once a month when I’m avoiding doing accounts receivable or similar I wander out to our reception area and go through the piles of flyers stacked there and dump anything that’s now over in the recycling bin. I might as well be throwing out piles of money or piles of hopes and dreams. But people keep bringin’em and leaving them here.

    What works on me personally is either it arriving by mail (I know old school!) at my home (dear god mail that isn’t a bill?! YEAH) preferably with a note. I’m not talking a love letter I’m talking “Shana, Hope to see you there – XO Kitten McSparkles”


    It’s handed to me by an arts worker/volunteer/performer who says honestly “hey I’m working on this show – it’s great you should come” and they talk to me about it. Or it’s at the counter of my favourite store and the shop keeper says to me “hey this theatre is around the corner and it’s super great – we’re doing the gift bags at their fundraiser you should check it out”

    I know everyone is thinking i can’t spend all my time wandering around handing people postcards but you need to think about it like an election campaign – you’ve got to get out there and press the flesh (sounds pervy) and if that’s not your style you need people around you whose it is. Staff, volunteers, performers anyone who’s a great personable advocate for you and your work. And then you better sit at home in the evenings and send personal notes and emails to people.


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