King Kong sized donations

It appears that taking leaps and bounds (or rather large monkey-sized steps) in the on-stage element of theatre isn’t enough for King Kong. Today it was announced that King Kong will be partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute in order to promote conservation messages through theatre. This is great to see a production venturing into undiscovered ground in an off-stage element, so let’s have a look why it will benefit them in the long term.


The first consideration when developing a brand partnership is whether consumers (or theatre audiences) can make the connection between the two organisations. This is very important, because if a connection cannot be seen then the consumer is going to have increased hesitation to engage with the partnership. For example, if BP decided to partner with the World Wildlife Fund, would you be more likely to purchase BP? Probably not.

In the case of King Kong, I would assume that we can all make the connection between a big gorilla on stage and lots of smaller gorillas in the wild. As a result, it is quite feasible that supporters of the Jane Goodall Foundation would be more likely purchase a ticket to King Kong due to this partnership, especially when other fundraising measures are put in place.

Let’s have a look at some of these fundraising measures!

The first of two fundraising options is an opt-in donation option during the ticket purchasing process. The prominence of the credit card has started to detract from this style of fundraising which works rather well with cash because credit cards do not have a problem dealing with individual cents, whereas with cash we don’t really like the hassle of carting lots of 5 cents coins around.

Never the less, those of us who are a little compulsive when it comes to the appeal of round numbers may be more likely to take on an extra 72 cents to their order just to round the numbers out. This means a win for the Jane Goodall Foundation. And if you are a fan of foundation you may even be convinced to add another dollar or two while you are already on a roll!

The second fundraising option rings a little too close to home with my article about mobiles in the theatre. The second way ticket buyers can contribute to the foundation is by bringing along old, unused mobile phones and disposing of them in the special recyclable boxes now inhabiting the Regent Theatre. While this is a great idea, unless there is sufficient publicity about this service it could come under the ‘Too Little, Too Late’ category if people were not aware of this before they left for the show.

However, even if patrons forget to bring their mobile phones with them, it still raises their awareness of the cause and will hopefully make them search for another of these bins at their local supermarket or newsagent.

While I fully support the cause, the mobile phone option does seem like the theatres are sending us a message about mobile phones in the theatre. Maybe signs that say ‘Turn them off or throw them out’ will start to appear in the foyer? Or am I just being paranoid?

Overall this seems like a pretty awesome initiative for theatre and hopefully we will see more of these partnerships in the future . . . providing they are relevant to both the show and the adjoining cause. Good one, King Kong.

Having said that, I don’t want to see The Lion King partnering with the National Rifle Association of Australia, it might send the wrong message!

Do you have any ideas for some good partnerships between musicals or plays and charities? Let me know below – and be inventive!