Putting on a Public Launch – Part 1: Skipping with Supermodels

Today I attended the Legally Blonde Melbourne launch and there were a lot of pretty impressive things that they did to turn regular fans into brand ambassadors.

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As I talked about in a previous post, one of the best things that any entertainment product can do is create brand ambassadors who haven’t actually experienced the product yet. While I previously talked about that in terms of social media reach, let’s have a look at how this can be done with physical launches.

The Legally Blonde Melbourne launch contained three components; Q & A’s with the six main cast members, competitions for tickets to the show and the opportunity to meet the cast afterwards for photo ops and autographs. Each aspect of the launch provided certain members of the audience with a Legally Blonde experience that they will then spread through their many Facebook fans and/or Twitter followers and hopefully create some more customers for a musical which is having difficulty selling tickets.

Let’s start with the Q & A. Ample time was allowed for the Q & A session which resulted in many members of the audience getting the opportunity to ask a question to one of the stars of Legally Blonde. Not only were these people then likely to exaggerate their experience on a social media outlet (I know I would!), but they were also rewarded with a plush Legally Blonde dog for their efforts. This not only adds to the intangible experience, but also provides them with a tangible prop to show off to their friends.

Next was the competition round. Two competitions were run by the cast, including a skipping competition with Erika Heynatz where three participants had to try to replicate one of the skipping routines from the show and the winner was rewarded with a double pass to the show and a night at the Hyatt. I can personally vouch for the effects of including fans in the show which then leads to extensive bragging and ultimately communication about Legally Blonde to friends as I was one of the people who participated in the skipping competition. Since the competition I automatically uploaded a video of the competition, shared a photo on both Facebook and Twitter about the experience and I am currently writing this blog. The only way I feel they could have enhanced the experience is if they had given the runners up some tickets as well – but that is only because I came in second place.

The third and possibly the most influential section of the press release was the opportunity to spend time with the cast for photo ops and autographs. The Legally Blonde team took all the hassle out of the process that usually accompanies this process by kindly providing a photo booth which produced high-quality, glossy, colour (branded) photos of fans with cast members on a Legally Blonde-branded lanyard and handing out Legally Blonde postcards for the express purpose of autographs. So not only do people walk off with tangible evidence of their experience, but when they show off their merchandise all their friends are exposed to plenty of Legally Blonde branding!

Despite all this clever event marketing, there were some detractors. Such as the use of the original movie and movie soundtrack to motivate people to buy tickets when they should have been using the musical soundtrack as people had come to see the musical, not the movie, stars.

However ultimately, there were some good takeaways from this launch and some effective branding which is already all over the internet as we speak. Now we just have to uncover the solution to their rather average turnout . . . and I have a couple of ideas.

Have a comment about a particularly awesome launch you have been to? What worked or what didn’t work? Let me know.

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