Rolling out the Big Guns

Musicals and department stores face a similar problem over the Christmas season. The markets get incredibly cluttered and there is new advertising material everywhere shouting ‘Choose Me, Choose Me’. Sometimes you have just have to make a big statement to get everyone’s attention!

myer tank

Christmas is the big tourist season in New York. And with all the other competing entertainment offerings on Broadway and in the non-musical world (i.e. Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Ice Skating at Rockefeller Centre) it is important to stand out. Well, the same issue is actually starting to happen in Australia.

Because tickets are being released almost a year before each of these shows start, Australian theatregoers have a wide variety of choices that are currently on sale. And chances are these tickets will be at the top of many Christmas lists.

Wicked, The Lion King, Rocky Horror, The King and I, King Kong, Les Miserables, Strictly Ballroom and Grease. These are just the professional musicals! There are also operas, plays, concerts, touring artists and many more entertainment offerings.

The theatre is not alone in this issue. Retail outlets (both online and bricks-and-mortar) suffer from a similar situation every Christmas as consumers try to decide which brands they want to spend inordinate amounts of money with to buy the perfect gift for their relatives. And Myer doesn’t take this competition lying down. Today they rolled out the big guns . . . literally.

To announce their partnership with makeup giant Napoleon Perdis, Myer branded an enormous tank with the two logos. They then drove the tank down Bourke Street Mall – the heart of the battle ground between Myer, David Jones and Zara – in the middle of city workers’ lunch breaks.

At a time when it is difficult to stand out, sometimes it is necessary to make a statement that is bigger than any of your competitors. And Myer is definitely reaping the rewards. Hundreds of people turned out at Bourke Street Mall to witness the big PR stunt and footage has been plastered across national news bulletins. Not only was it emphasising the new partnership but it all brings the Myer brand to the front of many consumers’ minds as they embark on the intense Christmas shopping experience.

When a market is saturated with so many brands during a competitive festive season there occasionally comes a time when you need to pull off a memorable and completely over-the-top stunt. However, if a musical was going to do this kind of stunt it probably needs to be a little more brand-specific.

This is why flash mobs were so good. They made a big statement and attracted lots of media attention while being closely associated to a specific brand. However, flash mobs aren’t as much of a shock anymore. It is time for the next big trend in publicity stunts. Who knows what it will be? But I am excited to see it!