If it ain’t broke . . . there’s a way to make it new again!

It’s not a secret that I enjoy zany and outside-the-box thinking when it comes to promoting a show. And I have found a pretty good example from Disney’s The Lion King that is not only different . . . BUT also effective!

Lion King Barricades

The Lion King is a rather successful musical pretty much wherever it is performed. It is coming back for a second tour of Australia this year, playing its 14th year on the West End and is currently the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history in its 16th year. So it is pretty popular . . .

But there is a curse that comes with these long-running shows!

We all know that people love new things. Or novel stimuli, as the psychologists call it. So when your show has been running for 14 years on the same famous British strip of street you can imagine the problem. Every year it turns a year old and becomes 365 days less novel!

So it is up to some clever marketing to try and capture potential audiences’ interest. And they have done that . . .

The West End company of The Lion King has produced a new advertising campaign where they have placed the lion-head logo on the barriers at their public transport stations. Not only is it a huge coincidence that the logo fits very nicely onto the barriers but it is also something that you don’t see every day!

Why is this important? Because while the show may not be novel, at least the marketing is. And while the potential audience may have tuned out to the traditional The Lion King billboard advertisement, these new ads will trigger interest.

Plus, consider the timing of these ads. Put up during the British summer holidays, a time when ticket grosses tend to decrease due to the large range of competing entertainment options, there is one question that all parents are going to be bombarded with when they come home from work:

‘I’m bored. Why can’t we do something interesting?’

Well, rather than the usually response of ‘In my day we went out onto the street and played . . .’, all these parents who are returning home at the end of the day have just noticed an activity to keep their kids entertained. And why is that now a consideration? Because previously while The Lion King wasn’t top of mind due to familiarity, this new marketing idea has propelled it forward to the top of the list because it is now novel again!

What do you think of this novel idea? Would you notice it or would you ignore it? Let me know in a comment below.

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