Getting your customers to design your merchandise

Pippin seems to be on fire when it comes to marketing their show constantly presenting hip and edgy (yes, I did say ‘hip’) marketing strategies. And they have done it again. This time with another way to get people involved in the Pippin brand through an activity usually reserved for crazed fans.


Whether it is in stage door queues or in reality television audiences, we have all seen super-fans and their trademark accessory . . . the customised T-shirt. Usually emblazoned with a stock photo of the artist/reality television contestant and a catchy slogan, the D.I.Y. T-shirt has separated the fans from the super-fans.

Well not anymore!

Yesterday, Pippin launched a contest where fans get the opportunity to design a T-shirt for the merchandise stand. Answering a rather specific brief, the fans are asked to design a woman’s baby doll style shirt that embodies the Pippin theme through the use of lyrics from three of the songs and shapes or colour tone from the sets.

Of course the judges are going to be looking for something a little more creative and polished than the typical super-fan tee. But this promotion is clever for a couple of reasons:

Reason #1: Increased CD Sale Revenue

One of the specific instructions is to use phrases from the show. And if you haven’t had the opportunity to see the show due to geographical or economic reasons, the best place to find these is through the suggested songs. Which means a visit to iTunes as they are not available on YouTube. And for most people, this will increase the chance of buying certain songs off the new album that they fall in love with throughout the design process.

Reason #2: Increased Brand Relationships

By getting the fans to engage with the show in a new way, Pippin manages to create a lasting memory with the consumers and when thinking about which Broadway show to see next, Pippin will come to mind much faster. In addition, this promotion also gives the musical a point of difference with other shows and provides an emphasis on Pippin’s consumer-focussed marketing strategy. It never hurts to say thank you to your audience!

Reason #3: Creates Buzz

There are two reasons why this promotion creates buzz. Firstly, because people like myself will go out and talk about it (exactly like I am doing now!). Secondly, viewers of the page have the option of sharing the page with their friends. While I don’t see much point in this as it creates more competition against your entry, it nonetheless encourages people to promote the show.

Reason #4: T-Shirt Sales

The sale of this new women’s T-Shirt will rely on how well it appeals to the female demographic in the audience each night. And what better way to design a product that appeals to that demographic, than getting someone from the demographic to design the product? I can’t think of one. Especially when the majority of Broadway audiences are women and it is most likely going to be young, computer-proficient women who will be buying the T-shirt and entering the contest.

For more information on this contest visit the Pippin Facebook page. (You see, I’m not going to enter it so I am quite comfortable spreading it around!).