An unlikely (but winning) combination!
I jokingly suggested a couple of days ago that theatre should take note of professional sport for some suggestions in marketing. I just didn’t expect them to actually search out sportspeople for the stage. But then again, anything can happen during Broadway Week on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael.
Once a year, popular US morning talk-show LIVE! with Kelly and Michael sets aside an entire week to celebrate the new offerings on the Broadway stages. And here is where the importance of gimmicks is seen.
For the entire week, hosts Kelly Ripa and American footballer Michael Strahan visit Broadway shows, feature performances on their show and interview big theatre stars. But my favourite event from this week, hands down, goes to Michael Strahan’s appearance in Kinky Boots.
In order to get onto Broadway Week, Kinky Boots offered Michael Strahan the chance for a couple of guest appearances during one of their shows. As a result, not only did the show get picked for a feature, it received interviews with the cast, video from the show, audience testimonials and constant appearances of the boots that comprise the logo. A pretty good deal for very little cost from Kinky Boots’ budget.
But why did they get chosen? Because they had a gimmick.
While getting Michael Strahan to appear on Rock of Ages may have been more appropriate, getting him onstage in thigh-high sparkly red Kinky Boots is a much more appealing gimmick. Especially since it suits the comical, taking-the-mickey attitude of the show, while also providing a clip that is more likely to go viral on the internet!
And the anticipation of getting this 2 metre tall American football player to wear the signature boots on national television at the end of the segment would have encouraged their six-year high ratings audience to pay attention long enough to see the fun and exciting clips from the show. And then hopefully, with the connection that was formed, go out and buy some tickets to this already successful musical.
Plus, if that wasn’t already enough, he opened the demographic up to men who feel they are too manly to see Kinky Boots. Simply done through the challenge of ‘Only a real man can wear Kinky Boots‘.
Seen any other gimmicks? Let me know in the comments below.